on Atomic, Nuclear and
Particle Physics
This Page Intentionally Left Blank
Major American Universities Ph.D.
Qualifying Questions and Solutions
Problems and Solutions
on Atomic, Nuclear and
Particle Physics
Compiled by
The Physics Coaching Class
University of Science and
Technology of China
Edited by
YungKuo Lim
National University of Singapore
World Scientific
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Major American Universities Ph.D. Qualifying Questions and Solutions
PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS ON ATOMIC, NUCLEAR AND PARTICLE PHYSICS
Copyright © 2000 by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
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PREFACE
This series of physics problems and solutions, which consists of seven
volumes — Mechanics, Electromagnetism, Optics, Atomic, Nuclear and
Particle Physics, Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics, Quantum Me
chanics, Solid State Physics and Relativity, contains a selection of 2550
problems from the graduateschool entrance and qualifying examination
papers of seven U.S. universities — California University Berkeley Cam
pus, Columbia University, Chicago University, Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, New York State University Buﬀalo Campus, Princeton Uni
versity, Wisconsin University — as well as the CUSPEA and C.C. Ting’s
papers for selection of Chinese students for further studies in U.S.A., and
their solutions which represent the eﬀort of more than 70 Chinese physicists,
plus some 20 more who checked the solutions.
The series is remarkable for its comprehensive coverage. In each area
the problems span a wide spectrum of topics, while many problems overlap
several areas. The problems themselves are remarkable for their versatil
ity in applying the physical laws and principles, their uptodate realistic
situations, and their scanty demand on mathematical skills. Many of the
problems involve orderofmagnitude calculations which one often requires
in an experimental situation for estimating a quantity from a simple model.
In short, the exercises blend together the objectives of enhancement of one’s
understanding of physical principles and ability of practical application.
The solutions as presented generally just provide a guidance to solving
the problems, rather than stepbystep manipulation, and leave much to
the students to work out for themselves, of whom much is demanded of the
basic knowledge in physics. Thus the series would provide an invaluable
complement to the textbooks.
The present volume consists of 483 problems. It covers practically the
whole of the usual undergraduate syllabus in atomic, nuclear and particle
physics, but in substance and sophistication goes much beyond. Some
problems on experimental methodology have also been included.
In editing, no attempt has been made to unify the physical terms, units
and symbols. Rather, they are left to the setters’ and solvers’ own prefer
ence so as to reﬂect the realistic situation of the usage today. Great pains
has been taken to trace the logical steps from the ﬁrst principles to the
ﬁnal solution, frequently even to the extent of rewriting the entire solution.
v
vi Preface
In addition, a subject index to problems has been included to facilitate the
location of topics. These editorial eﬀorts hopefully will enhance the value
of the volume to the students and teachers alike.
YungKuo Lim
Editor
INTRODUCTION
Solving problems in course work is an exercise of the mental facilities,
and examination problems are usually chosen, or set similar to such prob
lems. Working out problems is thus an essential and important aspect of
the study of physics.
The series Major American University Ph.D. Qualifying Questions and
Solutions comprises seven volumes and is the result of months of work
of a number of Chinese physicists. The subjects of the volumes and the
respective coordinators are as follows:
1. Mechanics (Qiang Yanqi, Gu Enpu, Cheng Jiafu, Li Zehua, Yang
Detian)
2. Electromagnetism (Zhao Shuping, You Junhan, Zhu Junjie)
3. Optics (Bai Guiru, Guo Guangcan)
4. Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics (Jin Huaicheng, Yang Bao
zhong, Fan Yangmei)
5. Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (Zheng Jiuren)
6. Quantum Mechanics (Zhang Yongde, Zhu Dongpei, Fan Hongyi)
7. Solid State Physics and Miscellaneous Topics (Zhang Jialu, Zhou
Youyuan, Zhang Shiling).
These volumes, which cover almost all aspects of university physics,
contain 2550 problems, mostly solved in detail.
The problems have been carefully chosen from a total of 3100 prob
lems, collected from the ChinaU.S.A. Physics Examination and Applica
tion Program, the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination on Experimental High
Energy Physics sponsored by ChaoChong Ting, and the graduate qualify
ing examinations of seven worldrenowned American universities: Columbia
University, the University of California at Berkeley, Massachusetts Insti
tute of Technology, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Chicago,
Princeton University, and the State University of New York at Buﬀalo.
Generally speaking, examination problems in physics in American uni
versities do not require too much mathematics. They can be character
ized to a large extent as follows. Many problems are concerned with the
various frontier subjects and overlapping domains of topics, having been
selected from the setters own research encounters. These problems show a
“modern” ﬂavor. Some problems involve a wide ﬁeld and require a sharp
mind for their analysis, while others require simple and practical methods
vii
viii Introduction
demanding a ﬁne “touch of physics”. Indeed, we believe that these prob
lems, as a whole, reﬂect to some extent the characteristics of American
science and culture, as well as give a glimpse of the philosophy underlying
American education.
That being so, we considered it worthwhile to collect and solve these
problems, and introduce them to students and teachers everywhere, even
though the work was both tedious and strenuous. About a hundred teachers
and graduate students took part in this timeconsuming task.
This volume on Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics which contains
483 problems is divided into four parts: Atomic and Molecular Physics
(142), Nuclear Physics (120), Particle Physics (90), Experimental Methods
and Miscellaneous topics (131).
In scope and depth, most of the problems conform to the usual un
dergraduate syllabi for atomic, nuclear and particle physics in most uni
versities. Some of them, however, are rather profound, sophisticated, and
broadbased. In particular they demonstrate the use of fundamental prin
ciples in the latest research activities. It is hoped that the problems would
help the reader not only in enhancing understanding of the basic principles,
but also in cultivating the ability to solve practical problems in a realistic
environment.
This volume was the result of the collective eﬀorts of forty physicists
involved in working out and checking of the solutions, notably Ren Yong,
Qian Jianming, Chen Tao, Cui Ningzhuo, Mo Haiding, Gong Zhufang
and Yang Baozhong.
CONTENTS
Preface v
Introduction vii
Part I. Atomic and Molecular Physics 1
1. Atomic Physics (1001–1122) 3
2. Molecular Physics (1123–1142) 173
Part II. Nuclear Physics 205
1. Basic Nuclear Properties (2001–2023) 207
2. Nuclear Binding Energy, Fission and Fusion (2024–2047) 239
3. The Deuteron and Nuclear forces (2048–2058) 269
4. Nuclear Models (2059–2075) 289
5. Nuclear Decays (2076–2107) 323
6. Nuclear Reactions (2108–2120) 382
Part III. Particle Physics 401
1. Interactions and Symmetries (3001–3037) 403
2. Weak and Electroweak Interactions, Grand Uniﬁcation
Theories (3038–3071) 459
3. Structure of Hadrons and the Quark Model (3072–3090) 524
Part IV. Experimental Methods and Miscellaneous Topics 565
1. Kinematics of HighEnergy Particles (4001–4061) 567
2. Interactions between Radiation and Matter (4062–4085) 646
3. Detection Techniques and Experimental Methods (4086–4105) 664
4. Error Estimation and Statistics (4106–4118) 678
5. Particle Beams and Accelerators (4119–4131) 690
Index to Problems 709
ix
PART I
ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR
PHYSICS
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1. ATOMIC PHYSICS (1001 1122)
1001
Assume that there is an announcement of a fantastic process capable of
putting the contents of physics library on a very smooth postcard. Will it
be readable with an electron microscope? Explain.
(Columbia)
Solution:
Suppose there are 10
6
books in the library, 500 pages in each book, and
each page is as large as two postcards. For the postcard to be readable,
the planar magniﬁcation should be 2 500 10
6
≈ 10
9
, corresponding to
a linear magniﬁcation of 10
4.5
. As the linear magniﬁcation of an electron
microscope is of the order of 800,000, its planar magniﬁcation is as large as
10
11
, which is suﬃcient to make the postcard readable.
1002
At 10
10
K the black body radiation weighs (1 ton, 1 g, 10
−6
g, 10
−16
g)
per cm
3
.
(Columbia)
Solution:
The answer is nearest to 1 ton per cm
3
.
The radiant energy density is given by u = 4σT
4
/c, where σ = 5.67
10
−8
Wm
−2
K
−4
is the Stefan–Boltzmann constant. From Einstein’s mass
energy relation, we get the mass of black body radiation per unit volume as
u = 4σT
4
/c
3
= 45.6710
−8
10
40
/(310
8
)
3
≈ 10
8
kg/m
3
= 0.1 ton/cm
3
.
1003
Compared to the electron Compton wavelength, the Bohr radius of the
hydrogen atom is approximately
(a) 100 times larger.
(b) 1000 times larger.
(c) about the same.
(CCT)
3
4 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
The Bohr radius of the hydrogen atom and the Compton wavelength
of electron are given by a =
2
me
2
and λ
c
=
h
mc
respectively. Hence
a
λ
c
=
1
2π
(
e
2
c
)
−1
=
137
2π
= 22, where e
2
/c is the ﬁnestructure constant. Hence
the answer is (a).
1004
Estimate the electric ﬁeld needed to pull an electron out of an atom in
a time comparable to that for the electron to go around the nucleus.
(Columbia)
Solution:
Consider a hydrogenlike atom of nuclear charge Ze. The ionization
energy (or the energy needed to eject the electron) is 13.6Z
2
eV. The orbit
ing electron has an average distance from the nucleus of a = a
0
/Z, where
a
0
= 0.53 10
−8
cm is the Bohr radius. The electron in going around the
nucleus in electric ﬁeld E can in half a cycle acquire an energy eEa. Thus
to eject the electron we require
eEa 13.6 Z
2
eV,
or
E
13.6 Z
3
0.53 10
−8
≈ 2 10
9
Z
3
V/cm.
1005
As one goes away from the center of an atom, the electron density
(a) decreases like a Gaussian.
(b) decreases exponentially.
(c) oscillates with slowly decreasing amplitude.
(CCT)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 5
Solution:
The answer is (c).
1006
An electronic transition in ions of
12
C leads to photon emission near
λ = 500 nm (hν = 2.5 eV). The ions are in thermal equilibrium at an
ion temperature kT = 20 eV, a density n = 10
24
m
−3
, and a nonuniform
magnetic ﬁeld which ranges up to B = 1 Tesla.
(a) Brieﬂy discuss broadening mechanisms which might cause the tran
sition to have an observed width ∆λ greater than that obtained for very
small values of T, n and B.
(b) For one of these mechanisms calculate the broadened width ∆λ using
orderofmagnitude estimates of needed parameters.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) A spectral line always has an inherent width produced by uncertainty
in atomic energy levels, which arises from the ﬁnite length of time involved
in the radiation process, through Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. The
observed broadening may also be caused by instrumental limitations such
as those due to lens aberration, diﬀraction, etc. In addition the main causes
of broadening are the following.
Doppler eﬀect: Atoms or molecules are in constant thermal motion at
T > 0 K. The observed frequency of a spectral line may be slightly changed
if the motion of the radiating atom has a component in the line of sight, due
to Doppler eﬀect. As the atoms or molecules have a distribution of velocity
a line that is emitted by the atoms will comprise a range of frequencies
symmetrically distributed about the natural frequency, contributing to the
observed width.
Collisions: An atomic system may be disturbed by external inﬂuences
such as electric and magnetic ﬁelds due to outside sources or neighboring
atoms. But these usually cause a shift in the energy levels rather than
broadening them. Broadening, however, can result from atomic collisions
which cause phase changes in the emitted radiation and consequently a
spread in the energy.
6 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) Doppler broadening: The ﬁrst order Doppler frequency shift is given
by ∆ν =
ν
0
v
x
c
, taking the xaxis along the line of sight. Maxwell’s velocity
distribution law then gives
dn ∝ exp
−
Mv
2
x
2kT
dv
x
= exp
¸
−
Mc
2
2kT
∆ν
ν
0
2
¸
dv
x
,
where M is the mass of the radiating atom. The frequencydistribution of
the radiation intensity follows the same relationship. At half the maximum
intensity, we have
∆ν = ν
0
(ln 2)2kT
Mc
2
.
Hence the line width at half the maximum intensity is
2∆ν =
1.67c
λ
0
2kT
Mc
2
.
In terms of wave number ˜ ν =
1
λ
=
ν
c
we have
Γ
D
= 2∆˜ ν =
1.67
λ
0
2kT
Mc
2
.
With kT = 20 eV, Mc
2
= 12 938 MeV, λ
0
= 5 10
−7
m,
Γ
D
=
1.67
5 10
−7
2 20
12 938 10
6
= 199 m
−1
≈ 2 cm
−1
.
Collision broadening: The mean free path for collision l is deﬁned by
nlπd
2
= 1, where d is the eﬀective atomic diameter for a collision close
enough to aﬀect the radiation process. The mean velocity ¯ v of an atom can
be approximated by its rootmeansquare velocity given by
1
2
Mv
2
=
3
2
kT.
Hence
¯ v ≈
3kT
M
.
Then the mean time between successive collisions is
t =
l
¯ v
=
1
nπd
2
M
3kT
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 7
The uncertainty in energy because of collisions, ∆E, can be estimated from
the uncertainty principle ∆E t ≈ , which gives
∆ν
c
≈
1
2πt
,
or, in terms of wave number,
Γ
c
=
1
2
nd
2
3kT
Mc
2
∼
3 10
−3
λ
0
2kT
Mc
2
,
if we take d ≈ 2a
0
∼ 10
−10
m, a
0
being the Bohr radius. This is much
smaller than Doppler broadening at the given ion density.
1007
(I) The ionization energy E
I
of the ﬁrst three elements are
Z Element E
I
1 H 13.6 eV
2 He 24.6 eV
3 Li 5.4 eV
(a) Explain qualitatively the change in E
I
from H to He to Li.
(b) What is the second ionization energy of He, that is the energy re
quired to remove the second electron after the ﬁrst one is removed?
(c) The energy levels of the n = 3 states of the valence electron of
sodium (neglecting intrinsic spin) are shown in Fig. 1.1.
Why do the energies depend on the quantum number l?
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Fig. 1.1
8 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
(a) The table shows that the ionization energy of He is much larger than
that of H. The main reason is that the nuclear charge of He is twice than
that of H while all their electrons are in the ﬁrst shell, which means that the
potential energy of the electrons are much lower in the case of He. The very
low ionization energy of Li is due to the screening of the nuclear charge by
the electrons in the inner shell. Thus for the electron in the outer shell, the
eﬀective nuclear charge becomes small and accordingly its potential energy
becomes higher, which means that the energy required for its removal is
smaller.
(b) The energy levels of a hydrogenlike atom are given by
E
n
= −
Z
2
n
2
13.6 eV.
For Z = 2, n = 1 we have
E
I
= 4 13.6 = 54.4 eV.
(c) For the n = 3 states the smaller l the valence electron has, the larger
is the eccentricity of its orbit, which tends to make the atomic nucleus
more polarized. Furthermore, the smaller l is, the larger is the eﬀect of
orbital penetration. These eﬀects make the potential energy of the electron
decrease with decreasing l.
1008
Describe brieﬂy each of the following eﬀects or, in the case of rules, state
the rule:
(a) Auger eﬀect
(b) Anomalous Zeeman eﬀect
(c) Lamb shift
(d) Land´e interval rule
(e) Hund’s rules for atomic levels
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Auger eﬀect: When an electron in the inner shell (say K shell) of
an atom is ejected, a less energetically bound electron (say an L electron)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 9
may jump into the hole left by the ejected electron, emitting a photon. If
the process takes place without radiating a photon but, instead, a higher
energy shell (say L shell) is ionized by ejecting an electron, the process is
called Auger eﬀect and the electron so ejected is called Auger electron. The
atom becomes doubly ionized and the process is known as a nonradiative
transition.
(b) Anomalous Zeeman eﬀect: It was observed by Zeeman in 1896 that,
when an excited atom is placed in an external magnetic ﬁeld, the spectral
line emitted in the deexcitation process splits into three lines with equal
spacings. This is called normal Zeeman eﬀect as such a splitting could
be understood on the basis of a classical theory developed by Lorentz.
However it was soon found that more commonly the number of splitting of
a spectral line is quite diﬀerent, usually greater than three. Such a splitting
could not be explained until the introduction of electron spin, thus the name
‘anomalous Zeeman eﬀect’.
In the modern quantum theory, both eﬀects can be readily understood:
When an atom is placed in a weak magnetic ﬁeld, on account of the in
teraction between the total magnetic dipole moment of the atom and the
external magnetic ﬁeld, both the initial and ﬁnal energy levels are split
into several components. The optical transitions between the two multi
plets then give rise to several lines. The normal Zeeman eﬀect is actually
only a special case where the transitions are between singlet states in an
atom with an even number of optically active electrons.
(c) Lamb shift: In the absence of hyperﬁne structure, the 2
2
S
1/2
and
2
2
P
1/2
states of hydrogen atom would be degenerate for orbital quan
tum number l as they correspond to the same total angular momentum
j = 1/2. However, Lamb observed experimentally that the energy of 2
2
S
1/2
is 0.035 cm
−1
higher than that of 2
2
P
1/2
. This phenomenon is called Lamb
shift. It is caused by the interaction between the electron and an electro
magnetic radiation ﬁeld.
(d) Land´e interval rule: For LS coupling, the energy diﬀerence between
two adjacent J levels is proportional, in a given LS term, to the larger of
the two values of J.
(e) Hund’s rules for atomic levels are as follows:
(1) If an electronic conﬁguration has more than one spectroscopic no
tation, the one with the maximum total spin S has the lowest energy.
(2) If the maximum total spin S corresponds to several spectroscopic
notations, the one with the maximum L has the lowest energy.
10 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(3) If the outer shell of the atom is less than half full, the spectroscopic
notation with the minimum total angular momentum J has the lowest en
ergy. However, if the shell is more than half full the spectroscopic notation
with the maximum J has the lowest energy. This rule only holds for LS
coupling.
1009
Give expressions for the following quantities in terms of e, , c, k, m
e
and
m
p
.
(a) The energy needed to ionize a hydrogen atom.
(b) The diﬀerence in frequency of the Lyman alpha line in hydrogen
and deuterium atoms.
(c) The magnetic moment of the electron.
(d) The spread in measurement of the π
0
mass, given that the π
0
lifetime
is τ.
(e) The magnetic ﬁeld B at which there is a 10
−4
excess of free protons
in one spin direction at a temperature T.
(f) Fine structure splitting in the n = 2 state of hydrogen.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a)
E
I
=
e
2
4πε
0
2
m
e
2
2
,
ε
0
being the permittivity of free space.
(b) The diﬀerence of frequency is caused by the Rydberg constant chang
ing with the mass of the nucleus. The wave number of the α line of hydrogen
atom is
˜ ν
H
= R
H
1 −
1
4
=
3
4
R
H
,
and that of the α line of deuterium atom is
˜ ν
D
=
3
4
R
D
.
The Rydberg constant is given by
Atomic and Molecular Physics 11
R =
e
2
4πε
0
2
m
r
m
e
=
m
r
m
e
R
∞
,
where m
r
is the reduced mass of the orbiting electron in the atomic system,
and
R
∞
=
e
2
4πε
0
2
m
e
4π
3
c
.
As for H atom, m
r
=
m
p
m
e
m
p
+m
e
, and for D atom,
m
r
=
2m
p
m
e
2m
p
+m
e
,
m
p
being the nucleon mass, we have
∆ν = c∆˜ ν =
3
4
c(R
D
−R
H
) =
3
4
cR
∞
¸
¸
1
1 +
m
e
2m
p
−
1
1 +
m
e
m
p
¸
≈
3
4
cR
∞
m
e
2m
p
=
3
4
e
2
4πε
0
2
π
2
h
3
m
2
e
m
p
.
(c) The magnetic moment associated with the electron spin is
µ
e
=
he
4πm
e
= µ
B
,
µ
B
being the Bohr magneton.
(d) The spread in the measured mass (in energy units) is related to the
lifetime τ through the uncertainty principle
∆E τ ,
which gives
∆E
τ
.
(e) Consider the free protons as an ideal gas in which the proton spins
have two quantized directions: parallel to B with energy E
p
= −µ
p
B and
12 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
antiparallel to B with energy E
p
= µ
p
B, where µ
p
=
e
2m
p
is the magnetic
moment of proton. As the number density n ∝ exp(
−E
p
kT
), we have
exp
µ
p
B
kT
−exp
−µ
p
B
kT
exp
µ
p
B
kT
+ exp
−µ
p
B
kT
= 10
−4
,
or
exp
2µ
p
B
kT
=
1 + 10
−4
1 −10
−4
,
giving
2µ
p
B
kT
≈ 2 10
−4
,
i.e.
B =
kT
µ
p
10
−4
.
(f) The quantum numbers of n = 2 states are: n = 2, l = 1, j
1
= 3/2,
j
2
= 1/2 (the l = 0 state does not split and so need not be considered here).
From the expression for the ﬁnestructure energy levels of hydrogen, we get
∆E = −
2πRhcα
2
n
3
¸
¸
1
j
1
+
1
2
−
1
j
2
+
1
2
¸
=
πRhcα
2
8
,
where
α =
e
2
4πε
0
c
is the ﬁne structure constant,
R =
e
2
4πε
0
2
m
e
4π
3
c
is the Rydberg constant.
1010
As shown in Fig. 1.2, light shines on sodium atoms. Estimate the cross
section on resonance for excitation of the atoms from the ground to the
Atomic and Molecular Physics 13
Fig. 1.2
ﬁrst excited state (corresponding to the familiar yellow line). Estimate
the width of the resonance. You need not derive these results from ﬁrst
principles if you remember the appropriate heuristic arguments.
(Princeton)
Solution:
The crosssection is deﬁned by σ
A
= P
ω
/I
ω
, where P
ω
dω is the energy
in the frequency range ω to ω+dω absorbed by the atoms in unit time, I
ω
dω
is the incident energy per unit area per unit time in the same frequency
range. By deﬁnition,
P
ω
dω = B
12
ωN
ω
,
where B
12
is Einstein’s Bcoeﬃcient giving the probability of an atom in
state 1 absorbing a quantum ω per unit time and N
ω
dω is the energy
density in the frequency range ω to ω +dω. Einstein’s relation
B
12
=
π
2
c
3
ω
3
g
1
g
2
A
21
gives
B
12
=
π
2
c
3
ω
3
g
1
g
2
1
τ
=
π
2
c
3
2
ω
3
g
1
g
2
Γ,
where τ is the lifetime of excited state 2, whose natural line width is Γ ≈
τ
,
g
1
, g
2
are respectively the degeneracies of states 1 and 2, use having been
made of the relation A
12
= 1/τ and the uncertainty principle Γτ ≈ . Then
as N
ω
= I
ω
/c, c being the velocity of light in free space, we have
P
ω
=
π
2
c
2
ω
2
g
1
g
2
ΓI
ω
.
14 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Introducing the form factor g(ω) and considering ω and I
ω
as average values
in the band of g(ω), we can write the above as
P
ω
=
π
2
c
2
ω
2
g
1
g
2
ΓI
ω
g(ω) .
Take for g(ω) the Lorentz proﬁle
g(ω) =
2π
Γ
(E
2
−E
1
−ω)
2
+
Γ
2
4
.
At resonance,
E
2
−E
1
= ω ,
and so
g
ω =
E
2
−E
1
=
2
πΓ
.
Hence
σ
A
=
π
2
c
2
ω
2
g
1
g
2
2
π
=
2πc
2
ω
2
g
1
g
2
.
For the yellow light of Na (D line), g
1
= 2, g
2
= 6, λ = 5890
˚
A, and
σ
A
=
1
3
λ
2
2π
= 1.84 10
−10
cm
2
.
For the D line of sodium, τ ≈ 10
−8
s and the line width at half intensity is
Γ ≈
τ
= 6.6 10
−8
eV.
As
Γ = ∆E = ∆ω = ∆
2πc
λ
= 2πc∆˜ ν ,
the line width in wave numbers is
∆˜ ν =
Γ
2πc
≈
1
2πcτ
= 5.3 10
−4
cm
−1
.
1011
The cross section for electron impact excitation of a certain atomic level
A is σ
A
= 1.4 10
−20
cm
2
. The level has a lifetime τ = 2 10
−8
sec, and
decays 10 per cent of the time to level B and 90 per cent of the time to
level C (Fig. 1.3).
Atomic and Molecular Physics 15
Fig. 1.3
(a) Calculate the equilibrium population per cm
3
in level A when an
electron beam of 5 mA/cm
2
is passed through a vapor of these atoms at a
pressure of 0.05 torr.
(b) Calculate the light intensity emitted per cm
3
in the transition A →
B, expressed in watts/steradian.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) According to Einstein’s relation, the number of transitions B, C →A
per unit time (rate of production of A) is
dN
BC→A
dt
= n
0
σ
A
N
BC
,
and the number of decays A →B, C per unit time is
dN
A→BC
dt
=
1
τ
+n
0
σ
A
N
A
,
where N
BC
and N
A
are the numbers of atoms in the energy levels B, C
and A respectively, n
0
is the number of electrons crossing unit area per unit
time. At equilibrium,
dN
BC→A
dt
=
dN
A→BC
dt
,
giving
N
A
=
n
0
σ
A
N
1
τ
+ 2n
0
σ
A
≈ n
0
σ
A
Nτ , (N = N
A
+N
BC
)
as n
0
= 5 10
−3
/1.6 10
−19
= 3.1 10
16
cm
−2
s
−1
and so
1
τ
2n
0
σ
A
.
16 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Hence the number of atoms per unit volume in energy level A at equi
librium is
n =
N
A
V
=
τn
0
σ
A
N
V
=
τn
0
σ
A
p
kT
= 2 10
−8
3.1 10
16
1.4 10
−20
0.05 1.333 10
3
1.38 10
−16
300
= 1.4 10
4
cm
−3
,
where we have taken the room temperature to be T = 300 K.
(b) The probability of atomic decay A →B is
λ
1
=
0.1
τ
.
The wavelength of the radiation emitted in the transition A → B is given
as λ
B
= 500 nm. The corresponding light intensity I per unit volume per
unit solid angle is then given by
4πI = nλ
1
hc/λ
B
,
i.e.,
I =
nhc
40πτλ
B
=
1.4 10
4
6.63 10
−27
3 10
10
40π 2 10
−8
500 10
−7
= 2.2 10
−2
erg s
−1
sr
−1
= 2.2 10
−9
W sr
−1
.
1012
The electric ﬁeld that an atom experiences from its surroundings within
a molecule or crystal can noticeably aﬀect properties of the atomic ground
state. An interesting example has to do with the phenomenon of angular
momentum quenching in the iron atom of the hem group in the hemoglobin
of your blood. Iron and hemoglobin are too complicated, however. So
consider an atom containing one valence electron moving in a central atomic
potential. It is in an l = 1 level. Ignore spin. We ask what happens to this
Atomic and Molecular Physics 17
level when the electron is acted on by the external potential arising from
the atom’s surroundings. Take this external potential to be
V
pert
= Ax
2
+By
2
−(A+B)z
2
(the atomic nucleus is at the origin of coordinates) and treat it to lowest
order.
(a) The l = 1 level now splits into three distinct levels. As you can
conﬁrm (and as we hint at) each has a wave function of the form
Ψ = (αx +βy +γz)f(r) ,
where f(r) is a common central function and where each level has its own set
of constants (α, β, γ), which you will need to determine. Sketch the energy
level diagram, specifying the relative shifts ∆E in terms of the parameters
A and B (i.e., compute the three shifts up to a common factor).
(b) More interesting: Compute the expectation value of L
z
, the z com
ponent of angular momentum, for each of the three levels.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The external potential ﬁeld V can be written in the form
V =
1
2
(A+B)r
2
−
3
2
(A+B)z
2
+
1
2
(A−B)(x
2
−y
2
) .
The degeneracy of the state n = 2, l = 1 is 3 in the absence of perturbation,
with wave functions
Ψ
210
=
1
32πa
3
1
2
r
a
exp
−
r
2a
cos θ ,
Ψ
21±1
= ∓
1
64πa
3
1
2
r
a
exp
−
r
2a
exp(±iϕ) sinθ ,
where a =
2
/µe
2
, µ being the reduced mass of the valence electron.
After interacting with the external potential ﬁeld V , the wave functions
change to
Ψ = a
1
Ψ
211
+a
2
Ψ
21−1
+a
3
Ψ
210
.
18 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Perturbation theory for degenerate systems gives for the perturbation
energy E
the following matrix equation:
¸
¸
C +A
−E
B
0
B
C +A
−E
0
0 0 C + 3A
−E
¸
¸
¸
a
1
a
2
a
2
¸
= 0 ,
where
C = 'Ψ
211
[
1
2
(A+B)r
2
[Ψ
211
`
= 'Ψ
21−1
[
1
2
(A+B)r
2
[Ψ
21−1
= 'Ψ
210
[
1
2
(A+B)r
2
[Ψ
210
`
= 15a
2
(A+B) ,
A
= −'Ψ
211
[
3
2
(A+B)z
2
[Ψ
211
`
= −'Ψ
21−1
[
3
2
(A+B)z
2
[Ψ
21−1
`
= −
1
3
'Ψ
210
[
3
2
(A+B)z
2
[Ψ
210
`
= −9a
2
(A+B) ,
B
= 'Ψ
211
[
1
2
(A−B)(x
2
−y
2
)[Ψ
21−1
`
= 'Ψ
21−1
[
1
2
(A−B)(x
2
−y
2
)[Ψ
211
`
= −
3
2
a
2
(A−B) .
Setting the determinant of the coeﬃcients to zero, we ﬁnd the energy
corrections
E
= C + 3A
, C +A
±B
.
For E
= C + 3A
= −12(A+B)a
2
, the wave function is
Ψ
1
= Ψ
210
=
1
32πa
3
1
2
r
a
exp
−
r
2a
cos θ = f(r)z ,
where
Atomic and Molecular Physics 19
f(r) =
1
32πa
3
1
2
1
a
exp
−
r
2a
,
corresponding to α = β = 0, γ = 1.
For E
= C +A
+B
=
3
2
(5A+ 3B)a
2
, the wave function is
Ψ
2
=
1
√
2
(Ψ
211
+ Ψ
21−1
) = −i
1
32πa
3
1
2
r
a
exp
−
r
2a
sinθ sinϕ
= −if(r)y ,
corresponding to α = γ = 0, β = −i.
For E
= C +A
−B
=
3
2
(3A+ 5B)a
2
, the wave function is
Ψ
3
=
1
√
2
(Ψ
211
−Ψ
21−1
) = −f(r)x,
corresponding to α = −1, β = γ = 0.
Thus the unperturbed energy level E
2
is, on the application of the per
turbation V , split into three levels:
E
2
−12(A+B)a
2
, E
2
+
3
2
(3A+ 5B)a
2
, E
2
+
3
2
(5A+ 3B)a
2
,
as shown in Fig. 1.4.
Fig. 1.4
(b) The corrected wave functions give
'Ψ
1
[l
z
[Ψ
1
` = 'Ψ
2
[l
z
[Ψ
2
` = 'Ψ
3
[l
z
[Ψ
3
` = 0 .
20 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Hence the expectation value of the z component of angular momentum is
zero for all the three energy levels.
1013
The ThomasFermi model of atoms describes the electron cloud in an
atom as a continuous distribution ρ(x) of charge. An individual electron is
assumed to move in the potential determined by the nucleus of charge Ze
and of this cloud. Derive the equation for the electrostatic potential in the
following stages.
(a) By assuming the charge cloud adjusts itself locally until the electrons
at Fermi sphere have zero energy, ﬁnd a relation between the potential φ
and the Fermi momentum p
F
.
(b) Use the relation derived in (a) to obtain an algebraic relation be
tween the charge density ρ(x) and the potential φ(x).
(c) Insert the result of (b) in Poisson’s equation to obtain a nonlinear
partial diﬀerential equation for φ.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) For a bound electron, its energy E =
p
2
2m
−eφ(x) must be lower than
that of an electron on the Fermi surface. Thus
p
2
max
2m
−eφ(x) = 0 ,
where p
max
= p
f
, the Fermi momentum.
Hence
p
2
f
= 2meφ(x) .
(b) Consider the electrons as a Fermi gas. The number of electrons
ﬁlling all states with momenta 0 to p
f
is
N =
V p
3
f
3π
2
3
.
The charge density is then
ρ(x) =
eN
V
=
ep
3
f
3π
2
3
=
e
3π
2
3
[2meφ(x)]
3
2
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 21
(c) Substituting ρ(x) in Poisson’s equation
∇
2
φ = 4πρ(x)
gives
∂
2
∂x
2
+
∂
2
∂y
2
+
∂
2
∂z
2
φ(x) =
4e
3π
3
[2meφ(x)]
3
2
.
On the assumption that φ is spherically symmetric, the equation re
duces to
1
r
d
2
dr
2
[rφ(r)] =
4e
3π
3
[2meφ(r)]
3
2
.
1014
In a crude picture, a metal is viewed as a system of free electrons en
closed in a well of potential diﬀerence V
0
. Due to thermal agitation, elec
trons with suﬃciently high energies will escape from the well. Find and
discuss the emission current density for this model.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Fig. 1.5
Solution:
The number of states in volume element dp
x
dp
y
dp
z
in the momentum
space is dN =
2
h
3
dp
x
dp
y
dp
z
. Each state ε has degeneracy exp(−
ε−µ
kT
),
where ε is the energy of the electron and µ is the Fermi energy.
Only electrons with momentum component p
z
> (2mV
0
)
1/2
can escape
from the potential well, the zaxis being selected parallel to the outward
22 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
normal to the surface of the metal. Hence the number of electrons escaping
from the volume element in time interval dt is
dN
= Av
z
dt
2
h
3
dp
x
dp
y
dp
z
exp
−
ε −µ
kT
,
where v
z
is the velocity component of the electrons in the z direction which
satisﬁes the condition mv
z
> (2mV
0
)
1/2
, A is the area of the surface of the
metal. Thus the number of electrons escaping from the metal surface per
unit area per unit time is
R =
+∞
−∞
+∞
−∞
+∞
(2mV
0
)
1/2
2v
z
h
3
exp
−
ε −µ
kT
dp
x
dp
y
dp
z
=
2
mh
3
exp
µ
kT
+∞
−∞
exp
−
p
2
x
2mkT
dp
x
+∞
−∞
exp
−
p
2
y
2mkT
dp
y
+∞
(2mV
0
)
1/2
p
z
exp
−
p
2
z
2mkT
dp
z
=
4πmk
2
T
2
h
3
exp
µ −V
0
kT
,
and the emission current density is
J = −eR = −
4πmek
2
T
2
h
3
exp
µ −V
0
kT
,
which is the Richardson–Dushman equation.
1015
A narrow beam of neutral particles with spin 1/2 and magnetic moment
µ is directed along the xaxis through a “SternGerlach” apparatus, which
splits the beam according to the values of µ
z
in the beam. (The appara
tus consists essentially of magnets which produce an inhomogeneous ﬁeld
B
z
(z) whose force on the particle moments gives rise to displacements ∆z
proportional to µ
z
B
z
.)
(a) Describe the pattern of splitting for the cases:
(i) Beam polarized along +z direction.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 23
(ii) Beam polarized along +x direction.
(iii) Beam polarized along +y direction.
(iv) Beam unpolarized.
(b) For those cases, if any, with indistinguishable results, describe how
one might distinguish among these cases by further experiments which use
the above SternGerlach apparatus and possibly some additional equip
ment.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) (i) The beam polarized along +z direction is not split, but its direc
tion is changed.
(ii) The beam polarized along +x direction splits into two beams, one
deﬂected to +z direction, the other to −z direction.
(iii) Same as for (ii).
(iv) The unpolarized beam is split into two beams, one deﬂected to +z
direction, the other to −z direction.
(b) The beams of (ii) (iii) (iv) are indistinguishable. They can be dis
tinguished by the following procedure.
(1) Turn the magnetic ﬁeld to +y direction. This distinguishes (iii) from
(ii) and (iv), as the beam in (iii) is not split but deﬂected, while the beams
of (ii) and (iv) each splits into two.
(2) Put a reﬂector in front of the apparatus, which changes the relative
positions of the source and apparatus (Fig. 1.6). Then the beam of (ii) does
not split, though deﬂected, while that of (iv) splits into two.
Fig. 1.6
24 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1016
The range of the potential between two hydrogen atoms is approxi
mately 4
˚
A. For a gas in thermal equilibrium, obtain a numerical estimate
of the temperature below which the atomatom scattering is essentially
swave.
(MIT)
Solution:
The scattered wave is mainly swave when ka ≤ 1, where a is the
interaction length between hydrogen atoms, k the de Broglie wave number
k =
p
=
√
2mE
k
=
2m
3
2
k
B
T
=
√
3mk
B
T
,
where p is the momentum, E
k
the kinetic energy, and m the mass of the
hydrogen atom, and k
B
is the Boltzmann constant. The condition
ka =
3mk
B
T
a
≤ 1
gives
T ≤
2
3mk
B
a
2
=
(1.06 10
−34
)
2
3 1.67 10
−27
1.38 10
−23
(4 10
−10
)
2
≈ 1 K
1017
(a) If you remember it, write down the diﬀerential cross section for
Rutherford scattering in cm
2
/sr. If you do not remember it, say so, and
write down your best guess. Make sure that the Z dependence, energy
dependence, angular dependence and dimensions are “reasonable”. Use
the expression you have just given, whether correct or your best guess, to
evaluate parts (b–e) below.
An accelerator supplies a proton beam of 10
12
particles per second and
200 MeV/c momentum. This beam passes through a 0.01cm aluminum
Atomic and Molecular Physics 25
window. (Al density ρ = 2.7 gm/cm
3
, Al radiation length x
0
= 24 gm/cm
2
,
Z = 13, A = 27).
(b) Compute the diﬀerential Rutherford scattering cross section in
cm
2
/sr at 30
◦
for the above beam in Al.
(c) How many protons per second will enter a 1cm radius circular
counter at a distance of 2 meters and at an angle of 30
◦
with the beam
direction?
(d) Compute the integrated Rutherford scattering cross section for an
gles greater than 5
◦
. (Hint: sinθdθ = 4 sin
θ
2
cos
θ
2
d
θ
2
)
(e) How many protons per second are scattered out of the beam into
angles > 5
◦
?
(f) Compute the projected rms multiple Coulomb scattering angle for
the proton beam through the above window. Take the constant in the
expression for multiple Coulomb scattering as 15 MeV/c.
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
(a) The diﬀerential cross section for Rutherford scattering is
dσ
dΩ
=
zZe
2
2mv
2
2
sin
θ
2
−4
.
This can be obtained, to a dimensionless constant, if we remember
dσ
dΩ
∼
sin
θ
2
−4
,
and assume that it depends also on ze, Ze and E =
1
2
mv
2
.
Let
dσ
dΩ
= K(zZe
2
)
x
E
y
sin
θ
2
−4
,
where K is a dimensionless constant. Dimensional analysis then gives
[L]
2
= (e
2
)
x
E
y
.
As
¸
e
2
r
= [E] ,
the above gives
26 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
x = 2, y = −x = −2 .
(b) For the protons,
β ≡
v
c
=
pc
m
2
c
4
+p
2
c
2
=
200
√
938
2
+ 200
2
= 0.2085 .
We also have
e
2
mv
2
= r
0
m
e
m
v
c
−2
,
where r
0
=
e
2
m
e
c
2
= 2.8210
−13
cm is the classical radius of electron. Hence
at θ = 30
◦
,
dσ
dΩ
=
13
2
2
r
2
0
m
e
m
2
v
c
−4
sin
θ
2
−4
=
6.5 2.82 10
−13
1836 0.2085
2
2
(sin15
◦
)
−4
= 5.27 10
−28
(sin15
◦
)
−4
= 1.18 10
−25
cm
2
/sr .
(c) The counter subtends a solid angle
dΩ =
π(0.01)
2
2
2
= 7.85 10
−5
sr .
The number of protons scattered into it in unit time is
δn = n
ρt
27
A
v
dσ
dΩ
δΩ
= 10
12
2.7 0.01
27
6.02 10
23
1.18 10
−25
7.85 10
−5
= 5.58 10
3
s
−1
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 27
(d)
σ
I
=
dσ
dΩ
dΩ = 2π
180
◦
5
◦
Ze
2
2mv
2
2
sinθ
sin
4
θ
2
dθ
= 8π
Ze
2
2mv
2
2
180
◦
5
◦
sin
θ
2
−3
d sin
θ
2
= 4π
Ze
2
2mv
2
2
¸
1
(sin2.5
◦
)
2
−1
= 4π 5.27 10
−28
¸
1
(sin 2.5
◦
)
2
−1
= 3.47 10
−24
cm
2
.
(e) The number of protons scattered into θ ≥ 5
◦
is
δn = n
ρt
27
A
v
σ
I
= 2.09 10
9
s
−1
,
where A
v
= 6.02 10
23
is Avogadro’s number.
(f) The projected rms multiple Coulomb scattering angle for the proton
beam through the Al window is given by
θ
rms
=
kZ
√
2βp
t
x
0
¸
1 +
1
9
ln
t
x
0
,
where k is a constant equal to 15 MeV/c. As Z = 13, p = 200 MeV/c,
β = 0.2085, t = 0.01 2.7 g cm
−2
, x
0
= 24 g cm
−2
, t/x
0
= 1.125 10
−3
,
we have
θ
rms
=
15 13
√
2 0.2085 200
1.125 10
−3
¸
1 +
1
9
ln(1.125 10
−3
)
= 2.72 10
−2
rad.
1018
Typical lifetime for an excited atom is 10
−1
, 10
−8
, 10
−13
, 10
−23
sec.
(Columbia)
28 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
The answer is 10
−8
s.
1019
An atom is capable of existing in two states: a ground state of mass
M and an excited state of mass M + ∆. If the transition from ground to
excited state proceeds by the absorption of a photon, what must be the
photon frequency in the laboratory where the atom is initially at rest?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
Let the frequency of the photon be ν and the momentum of the atom
in the excited state be p. The conservation laws of energy and momentum
give
Mc
2
+hν = [(M + ∆)
2
c
4
+p
2
c
2
]
1/2
,
hν
c
= p ,
and hence
ν =
∆c
2
h
1 +
∆
2M
.
1020
If one interchanges the spatial coordinates of two electrons in a state of
total spin 0:
(a) the wave function changes sign,
(b) the wave function is unchanged,
(c) the wave function changes to a completely diﬀerent function.
(CCT)
Solution:
The state of total spin zero has even parity, i.e., spatial symmetry.
Hence the wave function does not change when the space coordinates of
the electrons are interchanged.
So the answer is (b).
Atomic and Molecular Physics 29
1021
The Doppler width of an optical line from an atom in a ﬂame is 10
6
,
10
9
, 10
13
, 10
16
Hz.
(Columbia)
Solution:
Recalling the principle of equipartition of energy mv
2
/2 = 3kT/2 we
have for hydrogen at room temperature mc
2
≈ 10
9
eV, T = 300 K, and so
β =
v
c
≈
v
2
c
=
3kT
mc
2
∼ 10
−5
,
where k = 8.6 10
−5
eV/K is Boltzmann’s constant.
The Doppler width is of the order
∆ν ≈ ν
0
β .
For visible light, ν
0
∼ 10
14
Hz. Hence ∆ν ∼ 10
9
Hz.
1022
Estimate (order of magnitude) the Doppler width of an emission line of
wavelength λ = 5000
˚
A emitted by argon A = 40, Z = 18, at T = 300 K.
(Columbia)
Solution:
The principle of equipartition of energy
1
2
m¯ v
2
=
3
2
kT gives
v ≈
v
2
= c
3kT
mc
2
with mc
2
= 40 938 MeV, kT = 8.6 10
−5
300 = 2.58 10
−2
eV. Thus
β =
v
c
= 1.44 10
−6
and the (full) Doppler width is
∆λ ≈ 2βλ = 1.44 10
−2
˚
A.
30 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1023
Typical cross section for lowenergy electronatom scattering is 10
−16
,
10
−24
, 10
−32
, 10
−40
cm
2
.
(Columbia)
Solution:
The linear dimension of an atom is of the order 10
−8
cm, so the cross
section is of the order (10
−8
)
2
= 10
−16
cm
2
.
1024
An electron is conﬁned to the interior of a hollow spherical cavity of
radius R with impenetrable walls. Find an expression for the pressure
exerted on the walls of the cavity by the electron in its ground state.
(MIT)
Solution:
Suppose the radius of the cavity is to increase by dR. The work done
by the electron in the process is 4πR
2
PdR, causing a decrease of its energy
by dE. Hence the pressure exerted by the electron on the walls is
P = −
1
4πR
2
dE
dR
.
For the electron in ground state, the angular momentum is 0 and the
wave function has the form
Ψ =
1
√
4π
χ(r)
r
,
where χ(r) is the solution of the radial part of Schr¨odinger’s equation,
χ
(r) +k
2
χ(r) = 0 ,
with k
2
= 2mE/
2
and χ(r) = 0 at r = 0. Thus
χ(r) = Asinkr .
As the walls cannot be penetrated, χ(r) = 0 at r = R, giving k = π/R.
Hence the energy of the electron in ground state is
E =
π
2
2
2mR
2
,
and the pressure is
Atomic and Molecular Physics 31
P = −
1
4πR
2
dE
dR
=
π
2
4mR
5
.
1025
A particle with magnetic moment µ = µ
0
s and spin s of magnitude 1/2
is placed in a constant magnetic ﬁeld B pointing along the xaxis. At t = 0,
the particle is found to have s
z
= +1/2. Find the probabilities at any later
time of ﬁnding the particle with s
y
= ±1/2.
(Columbia)
Solution:
In the representation (s
2
, s
x
), the spin matrices are
σ
x
=
1 0
0 −1
, σ
y
=
0 1
1 0
, σ
z
=
0 −i
i 0
with eigenfunctions (
1
0
), (
1
1
), (
1
i
) respectively. Thus the Hamiltonian of
interaction between the magnetic moment of the particle and the magnetic
ﬁeld is
H = −µ B = −
µ
0
B
2
1 0
0 −1
,
and the Schr¨odinger equation is
i
d
dt
a(t)
b(t)
= −
µ
0
B
2
1 0
0 −1
a(t)
b(t)
,
where
a(t)
b(t)
is the wave function of the particle at time t. Initially we
have
a(0)
b(0)
=
1
√
2
1
i
, and so the solution is
a(t)
b(t)
=
1
√
2
¸
¸
¸
exp
i
µ
0
Bt
2
i exp
−i
µ
0
Bt
2
¸
.
Hence the probability of the particle being in the state s
y
= +1/2 at
time t is
32 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1
√
2
(1 1)
a(t)
b(t)
2
=
1
4
exp
i
µ
0
Bt
2
+i exp
−i
µ
0
Bt
2
2
=
1
2
1 + sin
µ
0
Bt
.
Similarly, the probability of the particle being in the state s
y
= −1/2 at
time t is
1
2
(1 −sin
µ
0
Bt
).
1026
The ground state of the realistic helium atom is of course nondegenerate.
However, consider a hypothetical helium atom in which the two electrons
are replaced by two identical spinone particles of negative charge. Neglect
spindependent forces. For this hypothetical atom, what is the degeneracy
of the ground state? Give your reasoning.
(CUSPEA)
Solution:
Spinone particles are bosons. As such, the wave function must be
symmetric with respect to interchange of particles. Since for the ground
state the spatial wave function is symmetric, the spin part must also be
symmetric. For two spin1 particles the total spin S can be 2, 1 or 0. The
spin wave functions for S = 2 and S = 0 are symmetric, while that for
S = 1 is antisymmetric. Hence for ground state we have S = 2 or S = 0,
the total degeneracy being
(2 2 + 1) + (2 0 + 1) = 6 .
1027
A beam of neutrons (mass m) traveling with nonrelativistic speed v
impinges on the system shown in Fig. 1.7, with beamsplitting mirrors at
corners B and D, mirrors at A and C, and a neutron detector at E. The
corners all make right angles, and neither the mirrors nor the beamsplitters
aﬀect the neutron spin. The beams separated at B rejoin coherently at D,
and the detector E reports the neutron intensity I.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 33
Fig. 1.7
(a) In this part of the problem, assume the system to be in a vertical
plane (so gravity points down parallel to AB and DC). Given that detector
intensity was I
0
with the system in a horizontal plane, derive an expression
for the intensity I
g
for the vertical conﬁguration.
(b) For this part of the problem, suppose the system lies in a horizontal
plane. A uniform magnetic ﬁeld, pointing out of the plane, acts in the
dotted region indicated which encompasses a portion of the leg BC. The
incident neutrons are polarized with spin pointing along BA as shown. The
neutrons which pass through the magnetic ﬁeld region will have their spins
pressed by an amount depending on the ﬁeld strength. Suppose the spin
expectation value presses through an angle θ as shown. Let I(θ) be the
intensity at the detector E. Derive I(θ) as a function of θ, given that
I(θ = 0) = I
0
.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Assume that when the system is in a horizontal plane the two split
beams of neutrons have the same intensity when they reach D, and so the
wave functions will each have amplitude
√
I
0
/2. Now consider the system
in a vertical plane. As BA and CD are equivalent dynamically, they need
not be considered. The velocities of neutrons v in BC and v
1
in AD are
related through the energy equation
34 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1
2
mv
2
=
1
2
mv
2
1
+mgH ,
giving
v
1
=
v
2
−2gH .
When the two beams recombine at D, the wave function is
Ψ =
¸√
I
0
2
exp
i
mv
1
L
+
√
I
0
2
exp
i
mv
L
exp
−i
Et
exp(iδ) ,
and the intensity is
I
g
= [Ψ[
2
=
I
0
2
+
I
0
2
cos
¸
mL(v −v
1
)
= I
0
cos
2
¸
mL(v −v
1
)
2
.
If we can take
1
2
mv
2
mgH, then v
1
≈ v −
gH
v
and
I
g
≈ I
0
cos
2
mgHL
2v
.
(b) Take zaxis in the direction of BA and proceed in the representation
of (s
2
, s
z
). At D the spin state is (
1
0
) for neutrons proceeding along BAD
and is
cos
θ
2
sin
θ
2
for those proceeding along BCD. Recombination gives
Ψ =
√
I
0
2
exp
−i
Et
exp(iδ)
1
0
+
¸
¸
cos
θ
2
sin
θ
2
¸
¸
¸
¸
=
√
I
0
2
exp
−i
Et
exp(iδ)
¸
¸
1 + cos
θ
2
sin
θ
2
¸
,
and hence
I(θ) = [Ψ[
2
=
I
0
4
¸
1 + cos
θ
2
2
+ sin
2
θ
2
¸
= I
0
cos
2
θ
4
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 35
1028
The ﬁne structure of atomic spectral lines arises from
(a) electron spinorbit coupling.
(b) interaction between electron and nucleus.
(c) nuclear spin.
(CCT)
Solution:
The answer is (a).
1029
Hyperﬁne splitting in hydrogen ground state is 10
−7
, 10
−5
, 10
−3
,
10
−1
eV.
(Columbia)
Solution:
For atomic hydrogen the experimental hyperﬁne line spacing is ∆ν
hf
=
1.4210
9
s
−1
. Thus ∆E = hν
hf
= 4.1410
−15
1.4210
9
= 5.910
−6
eV.
So the answer is 10
−5
eV.
1030
The hyperﬁne structure of hydrogen
(a) is too small to be detected.
(b) arises from nuclear spin.
(c) arises from ﬁnite nuclear size.
(CCT)
Solution:
The answer is (b).
1031
Spinorbit splitting of the hydrogen 2p state is 10
−6
, 10
−4
, 10
−2
, 10
0
eV.
(Columbia)
36 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
For the 2p state of hydrogen atom, n = 2, l = 1, s = 1/2, j
1
= 3/2,
j
2
= 1/2. The energy splitting caused by spinorbit coupling is given by
∆E
ls
=
hcRα
2
n
3
l
l +
1
2
(l + 1)
¸
j
1
(j
1
+ 1) −j
2
(j
2
+ 1)
2
,
where R is Rydberg’s constant and hcR = 13.6 eV is the ionization potential
of hydrogen atom, α =
1
137
is the ﬁnestructure constant. Thus
∆E
ls
=
13.6 (137)
−2
2
3
3
2
2
1
2
15
4
−
3
4
= 4.5 10
−5
eV.
So the answer is 10
−4
eV.
1032
The Lamb shift is
(a) a splitting between the 1s and 2s energy levels in hydrogen.
(b) caused by vacuum ﬂuctuations of the electromagnetic ﬁeld.
(c) caused by Thomas precession.
(CCT)
Solution:
The answer is (b)
1033
The average speed of an electron in the ﬁrst Bohr orbit of an atom of
atomic number Z is, in units of the velocity of light,
(a) Z
1/2
.
(b) Z.
(c) Z/137.
(CCT)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 37
Solution:
Let the average speed of the electron be v, its mass be m, and the radius
of the ﬁrst Bohr orbit be a. As
mv
2
a
=
Ze
2
a
2
, a =
2
mZe
2
,
We have
v =
Ze
2
= Zcα,
where α =
e
2
c
=
1
137
is the ﬁnestructure constant. Hence the answer is (c).
1034
The following experiments were signiﬁcant in the development of quan
tum theory. Choose TWO. In each case, brieﬂy describe the experiment
and state what it contributed to the development of the theory. Give an
approximate date for the experiment.
(a) SternGerlach experiment
(b) Compton Eﬀect
(c) FranckHertz Experiment
(d) LambRutherford Experiment
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) SternGerlach experiment. The experiment was carried out in 1921
by Stern and Gerlach using apparatus as shown in Fig. 1.8. A highly col
limated beam (v ≈ 500 m/s) of silver atoms from an oven passes through
the poles of a magnet which are so shaped as to produce an extremely
nonuniform ﬁeld (gradient of ﬁeld ∼ 10
3
T/m, longitudinal range ∼ 4 cm)
normal to the beam. The forces due to the interaction between the compo
nent µ
z
of the magnetic moment in the ﬁeld direction and the ﬁeld gradient
cause a deﬂection of the beam, whose magnitude depends on µ
z
. Stern and
Gerlach found that the beam split into two, rather than merely broadened,
after crossing the ﬁeld. This provided evidence for the space quantization
of the angular momentum of an atom.
38 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.8
(b) Compton Eﬀect. A. H. Compton discovered that when monochro
matic Xrays are scattered by a suitable target (Fig. 1.9), the scattered
radiation consists of two components, one spectrally unchanged the other
with increased wavelength. He further found that the change in wavelength
of the latter is a function only of the scattering angle but is independent
of the wavelength of the incident radiation and the scattering material. In
1923, using Einstein’s hypothesis of light quanta and the conservation of
momentum and energy, Compton found a relation between the change of
wavelength and the scattering angle, ∆λ =
h
m
e
c
(1−cos θ), which is in excel
lent agreement with the experimental results. Compton eﬀect gives direct
support to Einstein’s theory of light quanta.
Fig. 1.9
(c) FranckHertz experiment. Carried out by Franck and Hertz in 1914,
this experiment proved Bohr’s theory of quantization of atomic energy
states as well as provided a method to measure the energy spacing of quan
tum states. The experimental setup was as shown in Fig. 1.10. A glass
Atomic and Molecular Physics 39
Fig. 1.10
vessel, ﬁlled with Hg vapor, contained cathode K, grid G and anode A.
Thermoelectrons emitted from K were accelerated by an electric ﬁeld to G,
where a small retarding ﬁeld prevented low energy electrons from reaching
A. It was observed that the electric current detected by the ammeter A
ﬁrst increased with the accelerating voltage until it reached 4.1 V. Then
the current dropped suddenly, only to increase again. At the voltages 9.0 V
and 13.9 V, similar phenomena occurred. This indicated that the electron
current dropped when the voltage increased by 4.9 V (the ﬁrst drop at 4.1 V
was due to the contact voltage of the instrument), showing that 4.9 eV was
the ﬁrst excited state of Hg above ground. With further improvements
in the instrumentation Franck and Hertz were able to observe the higher
excited states of the atom.
(d) LambRutherford Experiment. In 1947, when Lamb and Rutherford
measured the spectrum of H atom accurately using an RF method, they
found it diﬀerent from the predictions of Dirac’s theory, which required
states with the same (n, j) but diﬀerent l to be degenerate. Instead, they
found a small splitting. The result, known as the Lamb shift, is satisfac
torily explained by the interaction between the electron with its radiation
ﬁeld. The experiment has been interpreted as providing strong evidence in
support of quantum electrodynamics.
The experimental setup was shown in Fig. 1.11. Of the hydrogen gas
contained in a stove, heated to temperature 2500 K, about 64% was ionized
(average velocity 8 10
3
m/s). The emitted atomic beam collided at B
with a transverse electron beam of energy slightly higher than 10.2 eV
and were excited to 2
2
S
1/2
, 2
2
P
1/2
, 2
2
P
3/2
states. The atoms in the P
40 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.11
states spontaneously underwent transition to the ground state 1
2
S
1/2
al
most immediately whereas the 2
2
S
1/2
state, which is metastable, remained.
Thus the atomic beam consisted of only 2
2
S
1/2
and 1
2
S
1/2
states when it
impinged on the tungsten plate P. The work function of tungsten is less
than 10.2 eV, so that the atoms in 2
2
S
1/2
state were able to eject electrons
from the tungsten plate, which then ﬂowed to A, resulting in an electric
current between P and A, which was measured after ampliﬁcation. The
current intensity gave a measure of the numbers of atoms in the 2
2
S
1/2
state. A microwave radiation was then applied between the excitation and
detection regions, causing transition of the 2
2
S
1/2
state to a P state, which
almost immediately decayed to the ground state, resulting in a drop of the
electric current. The microwave energy corresponding to the smallest elec
tric current is the energy diﬀerence between the 2
2
S
1/2
and 2
2
P
1/2
states.
Experimentally the frequency of Lamb shift was found to be 1057 MHz.
1035
(a) Derive from Coulomb’s law and the simple quantization of angular
momentum, the energy levels of the hydrogen atom.
(b) What gives rise to the doublet structure of the optical spectra from
sodium?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The Coulomb force between the electron and the hydrogen nucleus is
Atomic and Molecular Physics 41
F =
e
2
4πε
0
r
2
.
In a simplest model, the electron moves around the nucleus in a circular
orbit of radius r with speed v, and its orbital angular momentum p
φ
= mvr
is quantized according to the condition
p
φ
= n ,
where n = 1, 2, 3, . . . and = h/2π, h being Planck’s constant. For the
electron circulating the nucleus, we have
m
v
2
r
=
e
2
4πε
0
r
2
,
and so
v =
e
2
4πε
0
n
.
Hence the quantized energies are
E
n
= T +V =
1
2
mv
2
−
e
2
4πε
0
r
= −
1
2
mv
2
= −
1
2
me
4
(4πε
0
)
2
2
n
2
,
with n = 1, 2, 3, . . . .
(b) The doublet structure of the optical spectra from sodium is caused
by the coupling between the orbital and spin angular momenta of the va
lence electron.
1036
We may generalize the semiclassical BohrSommerfeld relation
p dr =
n +
1
2
2π
(where the integral is along a closed orbit) to apply to the case where an
electromagnetic ﬁeld is present by replacing p → p −
eA
c
. Use this and
42 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
the equation of motion for the linear momentum p to derive a quantized
condition on the magnetic ﬂux of a semiclassical electron which is in a
magnetic ﬁeld B in an arbitrary orbit. For electrons in a solid this condition
can be restated in terms of the size S of the orbit in kspace. Obtain the
quantization condition on S in terms of B. (Ignore spin eﬀects)
(Chicago)
Solution:
Denote the closed orbit by C. Assume B is constant, then Newton’s
second law
dp
dt
= −
e
c
dr
dt
B
gives
C
p dr = −
e
c
C
(r B) dr =
e
c
C
B r dr =
2e
c
S
B dS =
2e
c
Φ,
where Φ is the magnetic ﬂux crossing a surface S bounded by the closed
orbit. We also have, using Stokes’ theorem,
−
e
c
C
A dr = −
e
c
S
(∇A) dS = −
e
c
S
B dS = −
e
c
Φ.
Hence
p −
e
c
A
dr =
C
p dr −
e
c
C
A dr =
2e
c
Φ−
e
c
Φ =
e
c
Φ.
The generalized BohrSommerfeld relation then gives
Φ =
n +
1
2
2πc
e
,
which is the quantization condition on the magnetic ﬂux.
On a plane perpendicular to B,
∆p ≡ ∆k =
e
c
B∆r ,
i.e.,
∆r =
c
eB
∆k .
Hence the orbital area S in kspace and A in rspace are related by
Atomic and Molecular Physics 43
A =
c
eB
2
S .
Using the quantization condition on magnetic ﬂux, we have
A =
Φ
B
=
n +
1
2
2πc
eB
,
or
c
eB
2
S =
n +
1
2
2πc
eB
.
Therefore the quantization condition on the orbital area S in kspace is
S =
n +
1
2
2πe
c
B.
1037
If a very small uniformdensity sphere of charge is in an electrostatic
potential V (r), its potential energy is
U(r) = V (r) +
r
2
0
6
∇
2
V (r) +
where r is the position of the center of the charge and r
0
is its very small
radius. The “Lamb shift” can be thought of as the small correction to the
energy levels of the hydrogen atom because the physical electron does have
this property.
If the r
2
0
term of U is treated as a very small perturbation compared to
the Coulomb interaction V (r) = −e
2
/r, what are the Lamb shifts for the
1s and 2p levels of the hydrogen atom? Express your result in terms of r
0
and fundamental constants. The unperturbed wave functions are
ψ
1s
(r) = 2a
−3/2
B
exp(−r/a
B
)Y
0
0
,
ψ
2pm
(r) = a
−5/2
B
r exp(−r/2a
B
)Y
m
1
/
√
24 ,
where a
B
=
2
/m
e
e
2
.
(CUSPEA)
44 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
As
∇
2
V (r) = −e
2
∇
2
1
r
= 4πe
2
δ(r) ,
where δ(r) is Dirac’s delta function deﬁned by
∇
2
1
r
= −4πδ(r) ,
we have
ψ
∗
∇
2
V (r)ψd
3
r = 4πe
2
ψ
∗
(r)ψ(r)δ(r)d
3
r = 4πe
2
ψ
∗
(0)ψ(0) .
Hence
∆E
1s
=
r
2
0
6
4πe
2
ψ
∗
1s
(0)ψ
1s
(0)
=
r
2
0
6
4πe
2
4a
−3
B
=
8πe
2
r
2
0
3
a
−3
B
,
∆E
2p
=
r
2
0
6
4πe
2
ψ
∗
2p
(0)ψ
2p
(0) = 0 .
1038
(a) Specify the dominant multipole (such as E1 (electric dipole), E2, E3
. . . , M1, M2, M3. . . ) for spontaneous photon emission by an excited atomic
electron in each of the following transitions,
2p
1/2
→1s
1/2
,
2s
1/2
→1s
1/2
,
3d
3/2
→2s
1/2
,
2p
3/2
→2p
1/2
,
3d
3/2
→2p
1/2
.
(b) Estimate the transition rate for the ﬁrst of the above transitions
in terms of the photon frequency ω, the atomic radius a, and any other
Atomic and Molecular Physics 45
necessary physical constants. Give a rough numerical estimate of this rate
for a typical atomic transition.
(c) Estimate the ratios of the other transition rates (for the other tran
sitions in (a)) relative to the ﬁrst one in terms of the same parameters as
in (b).
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
(a) In multipole transitions for spontaneous photon emission, angular
momentum conservation requires
[j
i
−j
f
[ ≤ L ≤ j
i
+j
f
,
L being the order of transition, parity conservation requires
∆P = (−1)
L
for electric multipole radiation,
∆P = (−1)
L+1
for magnetic multipole radiation.
Transition with the smallest order L is the most probable. Hence for
2p
1/2
→1s
1/2
: L = 1, ∆P = −, transition is E1 ,
2s
1/2
→1s
1/2
: L = 0, ∆P = +,
transition is a doublephoton dipole transition,
3d
3/2
→2s
1/2
: L = 1, 2, ∆P = +, transition is M1 or E2 ,
2p
3/2
→2p
1/2
: L = 1, 2, ∆P = +, transition is M1 or E2 ,
3d
3/2
→2p
1/2
: L = 1, 2, ∆P = −, transition is E1 .
(b) The probability of spontaneous transition from 2p
1/2
to 1s
1/2
per
unit time is
A
E1
=
e
2
ω
3
3πε
0
c
3
[r
12
[
2
=
4
3
αω
3
[r
12
[
c
2
,
where α = e
2
/(4πε
0
c) = 1/137 is the ﬁnestructure constant. As [r
12
[ ≈ a,
A
E1
≈
4
3
αω
3
a
c
2
.
With a ∼ 10
−10
m, ω ∼ 10
16
s
−1
, we have A
E1
∼ 10
9
s
−1
.
46 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(c)
A(2
2
s1
2
→1
2
s1
2
)
A
E1
≈ 10
mcα
,
A(3d3
2
→2s1
2
)
A
E1
≈ (ka)
2
,
A(2p3
2
−2p1
2
)
A
E1
≈ (ka)
2
,
where k = ω/c is the wave number of the photon,
A(3d
3/2
→2p
1/2
)
A
E1
≈
¸
ω(3d
3/2
→2p
1/2
)
ω(2p
1/2
→1s
1/2
)
3
.
1039
(a) What is the energy of the neutrino in a typical beta decay?
(b) What is the dependence on atomic number Z of the lifetime for
spontaneous decay of the 2p state in the hydrogenlike atoms H, He
+
, Li
++
,
etc.?
(c) What is the electron conﬁguration, total spin S, total orbital angular
momentum L, and total angular momentum J of the ground state of atomic
oxygen?
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
(a) The energy of the neutrino emitted in a typical βdecay is E
ν
≈
1 MeV.
(b) The probability of spontaneous transition 2p →1s per unit time is
(Problem 1038(b)) A ∝ [r
12
[
2
ω
3
, where
[r
12
[
2
= ['1s(Zr)[r[2p(Zr)`[
2
,
[1s(Zr)` and [2p(Zr)` being the radial wave functions of a hydrogenlike
atom of nuclear charge Z, and
ω =
1
(E
2
−E
1
) .
As
Atomic and Molecular Physics 47
1s(Zr)` =
Z
a
0
3
2
2e
−Zr
a
0
,
2p(Zr)` =
Z
2a
0
3
2
Zr
a
0
√
3
e
−
Zr
2a
0
,
a
0
being a constant, we have for Z > 1,
[r
12
[
2
∝ Z
−2
, ω
3
∝ Z
6
,
and so A ∝ Z
4
. Hence the lifetime τ is
τ ∝
1
A
∝ Z
−4
.
(c) The electron conﬁguration of ground state atomic oxygen is 1s
2
2s
2
2p
4
. As the state has S = 1, L = 1, J = 2, it is designated
3
P
2
.
1040
Suppose that, because of small parityviolating forces, the 2
2
S
1/2
level
of the hydrogen atom has a small pwave admixture:
Ψ(n = 2, j = 1/2) =Ψ
s
(n = 2, j = 1/2, l = 0)
+εΨ
p
(n = 2, j = 1/2, l = 1) .
What ﬁrstorder radiation decay will deexcite this state? What is the form
of the decay matrix element? What dose it become if ε →0 and why?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
Electric dipole radiation will deexcite the pwave part of this mixed
state: Ψ
p
(n = 2, j = 1/2, l = 1) → Ψ
s
(n = 1, j = 1/2, l = 0). The
Ψ
s
(n = 2, j = 1/2, l = 0) state will not decay as it is a metastable state.
The decay matrix, i.e. the T matrix, is
'Ψ
f
[T[Ψ
i
` = ε
Ψ
∗
f
V (r)Ψ
i
d
3
r ,
where, for electric dipole radiation, we have
48 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
V (r) = −(−er) E = erE cos θ ,
taking the zaxis along the electric ﬁeld. Thus
'Ψ
f
[T[Ψ
i
` = εeE
R
10
rR
21
r
2
dr
Y
00
Y
10
cos θdΩ
=
εeE
√
2a
3
∞
0
r
3
exp
−
3r
2a
dr
=
32
27
√
6
εeaE
Ω
Y
00
Y
10
cos θdΩ.
As
cos θY
10
=
4
15
Y
20
+
1
3
Y
00
,
the last integral equals
1
3
and
'Ψ
f
[T[Ψ
i
` =
2
3
4
√
2εeaE .
If ε → 0, the matrix element of the dipole transition 'Ψ
f
[T[Ψ
i
` → 0
and no such deexcitation takes place. The excited state Ψ
s
(n = 2, j =
1/2, l = 0) is metastable. It cannot decay to the ground state via electric
dipole transition (because ∆l = 1). Nor can it do so via magnetic dipole
or electric quadruple transition. It can only decay to the ground state by
the doublephotons transition 2
2
S
1/2
→ 1
2
S
1/2
, which however has a very
small probability.
1041
(a) The ground state of the hydrogen atom is split by the hyperﬁne
interaction. Indicate the level diagram and show from ﬁrst principles which
state lies higher in energy.
(b) The ground state of the hydrogen molecule is split into total nuclear
spin triplet and singlet states. Show from ﬁrst principles which state lies
higher in energy.
(Chicago)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 49
Solution:
(a) The hyperﬁne interaction in hydrogen arises from the magnetic in
teraction between the intrinsic magnetic moments of the proton and the
electron, the Hamiltonian being
H
int
= −µ
p
B,
where B is the magnetic ﬁeld produced by the magnetic moment of the
electron and µ
p
is the intrinsic magnetic moment of the proton.
In the ground state, the electron charge density is spherically symmetric
so that B has the same direction as the electron intrinsic magnetic moment
µ
e
. However as the electron is negatively charged, µ
e
is antiparallel to the
electron spin angular momentum s
e
. For the lowest energy state of H
int
,
'µ
p
µ
e
` > 0, and so 's
p
s
e
` < 0. Thus the singlet state F = 0 is the
ground state, while the triplet F = 1 is an excited state (see Fig. 1.12).
Fig. 1.12
(b) As hydrogen molecule consists of two like atoms, each having a
proton (spin
1
2
) as nucleus, the nuclear system must have an antisymmetric
state function. Then the nuclear spin singlet state (S = 0, antisymmetric)
must be associated with a symmetric nuclear rotational state; thus J =
0, 2, 4, . . . , with the ground state having J = 0. For the spin triplet state
(S = 1, symmetric) the rotational state must have J = 1, 3, . . . , with the
ground state having J = 1. As the rotational energy is proportional to
J(J + 1), the spin triplet ground state lies higher in energy.
1042
(a) In Bohr’s original theory of the hydrogen atom (circular orbits) what
postulate led to the choice of the allowed energy levels?
50 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) Later de Broglie pointed out a most interesting relationship between
the Bohr postulate and the de Broglie wavelength of the electron. State
and derive this relationship.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Bohr proposed the quantization condition
mvr = n ,
where m and v are respectively the mass and velocity of the orbiting elec
tron, r is the radius of the circular orbit, n = 1, 2, 3, . . . . This condition
gives descrete values of the electron momentum p = mv, which in turn
leads to descrete energy levels.
(b) Later de Broglie found that Bohr’s circular orbits could exactly hold
integral numbers of de Broglie wavelength of the electron. As
pr = n =
nh
2π
,
2πr = n
h
p
= nλ,
where λ is the de Broglie wavelength, which is associated with the group
velocity of matter wave.
1043
In radio astronomy, hydrogen atoms are observed in which, for example,
radiative transitions from n = 109 to n = 108 occur.
(a) What are the frequency and wavelength of the radiation emitted in
this transition?
(b) The same transition has also been observed in excited helium atoms.
What is the ratio of the wavelengths of the He and H radiation?
(c) Why is it diﬃcult to observe this transition in laboratory experi
ment?
(Wisconsin)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 51
Solution:
(a) The energy levels of hydrogen, in eV, are
E
n
= −
13.6
n
2
.
For transitions between excited states n = 109 and n = 108 we have
hν =
13.6
108
2
−
13.6
109
2
,
giving
ν = 5.15 10
9
Hz ,
or
λ = c/ν = 5.83 cm.
(b) For such highly excited states the eﬀective nuclear charge of the
helium atom experienced by an orbital electron is approximately equal to
that of a proton. Hence for such transitions the wavelength from He ap
proximately equals that from H.
(c) In such highly excited states, atoms are easily ionized by colliding
with other atoms. At the same time, the probability of a transition between
these highly excited states is very small. It is very diﬃcult to produce
such environment in laboratory in which the probability of a collision is
very small and yet there are suﬃciently many such highly excited atoms
available. (However the availability of strong lasers may make it possible to
stimulate an atom to such highly excited states by multiphoton excitation.)
1044
Sketch the energy levels of atomic Li for the states with n = 2, 3, 4.
Indicate on the energy diagram several lines that might be seen in emission
and several lines that might be seen in absorption. Show on the same
diagram the energy levels of atomic hydrogen for n = 2, 3, 4.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
As most atoms remain in the ground state, the absorption spectrum
arises from transitions from 2s to np states (n = 2, 3, 4). In Fig. 1.13,
52 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.13
the dashed lines represent absorption transitions, the solid lines, emission
transitions.
1045
The “plum pudding” model of the atom proposed by J. J. Thomson in
the early days of atomic theory consisted of a sphere of radius a of positive
charge of total value Ze. Z is an integer and e is the fundamental unit of
charge. The electrons, of charge −e, were considered to be point charges
embedded in the positive charge.
(a) Find the force acting on an electron as a function of its distance r
from the center of the sphere for the element hydrogen.
(b) What type of motion does the electron execute?
(c) Find an expression for the frequency for this motion.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) For the hydrogen atomhaving Z = 1, radius a, the density of positive
charge is
ρ =
e
4
3
πa
3
=
3e
4πa
3
.
When an electron is at a distance r from the center of the sphere, only
the positive charge inside the sphere of radius r can aﬀect the electron and
so the electrostatic force acting on the electron is
Atomic and Molecular Physics 53
F(r) = −
e
4πε
0
r
2
4
3
πr
3
ρ = −
e
2
r
4πε
0
a
3
,
pointing toward the center of the sphere.
(b) The form of F(r) indicates the motion of the electron is simple
harmonic.
(c) F(r) can be written in the form
F(r) = −kr ,
where k =
e
2
4πε
0
a
3
. The angular frequency of the harmonic motion is thus
ω =
k
m
=
e
2
4πε
0
a
3
m
,
where m is the mass of electron.
1046
Lyman alpha, the n = 1 to n = 2 transition in atomic hydrogen, is at
1215
˚
A.
(a) Deﬁne the wavelength region capable of photoionizing a H atom in
the ground level (n = 1).
(b) Deﬁne the wavelength region capable of photoionizing a H atom in
the ﬁrst excited level (n = 2).
(c) Deﬁne the wavelength region capable of photoionizing a He
+
ion in
the ground level (n = 1).
(d) Deﬁne the wavelength region capable of photoionizing a He
+
ion in
the ﬁrst excited level (n = 2).
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) A spectral series of a hydrogenlike atom has wave numbers
˜ ν = Z
2
R
1
n
2
−
1
m
2
,
where Z is the nuclear charge, R is the Rydberg constant, and n, m are
positive integers with m > n. The ionization energy of the ground state of
H atom is the limit of the Lyman series (n = 1), the wave number being
54 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
˜ ν
0
=
1
λ
0
= R.
For the alpha line of the Lyman series,
˜ ν
α
=
1
λ
α
= R
1 −
1
2
2
=
3
4
R =
3
4λ
0
.
As λ
α
= 1215
˚
A, λ
0
= 3λ
α
/4 = 911
˚
A. Hence the wavelength of light
that can photoionize H atom in the ground state must be shorter than
911
˚
A.
(b) The wavelength should be shorter than the limit of the Balmer series
(n = 2), whose wave number is
˜ ν =
1
λ
=
R
2
2
=
1
4λ
0
.
Hence the wavelength should be shorter than 4λ
0
= 3645
˚
A.
(c) The limiting wave number of the Lyman series of He
+
(Z = 2) is
˜ ν =
1
λ
=
Z
2
R
1
2
= 4R =
4
λ
0
.
The wavelength that can photoionize the He
+
in the ground state must be
shorter than λ
0
/4 = 228
˚
A.
(d) The wavelength should be shorter than 1/R = λ
0
= 1215
˚
A.
1047
A tritium atom in its ground state betadecays to He
+
.
(a) Immediately after the decay, what is the probability that the helium
ion is in its ground state?
(b) In the 2s state?
(c) In the 2p state?
(Ignore spin in this problem.)
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
At the instant of βdecay continuity of the wave function requires
[1s`
H
= a
1
[1s`
He
+ +a
2
[2s`
He
+ +a
3
[2p`
He
+ + ,
where
Atomic and Molecular Physics 55
[1s` = R
10
(r)Y
00
, [2s` = R
20
(r)Y
00
, [2p` = R
21
(r)Y
10
,
with
R
10
=
Z
a
3
2
2 exp
−
Zr
a
, R
20
=
Z
2a
3
2
2 −
Zr
a
exp
−
Zr
2a
,
R
21
=
Z
2a
3
2
Zr
a
√
3
exp
−
Zr
2a
, a =
2
me
2
.
(a)
a
1
=
He
+'1s[1s`
H
=
∞
0
2
a
3/2
exp
−
r
a
2
2
a
3/2
exp
−
2r
a
r
2
dr
Y
2
00
dΩ =
16
√
2
27
.
Accordingly the probability of ﬁnding the He
+
in the ground state is
W'1s` = [a
1
[
2
=
512
729
.
(b)
a
2
=
He
+'2s[1s`
H
=
∞
0
2
a
3/2
exp
−
r
a
1
√
2
2
a
3/2
1 −
r
a
exp
−
r
a
r
2
dr
Y
2
00
dΩ = −
1
2
.
Hence the probability of ﬁnding the He
+
in the 2s state is
W'2s` = [a
2
[
2
=
1
4
.
56 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(c)
a
3
=
He
+'2p[1s`
H
=
∞
0
2
a
3/2
exp
−
r
a
1
2
√
6
2
a
3/2
2r
a
exp
−
r
a
r
2
dr
Y
∗
10
Y
00
dΩ = 0 .
Hence the probability of ﬁnding the He
+
in the 2p state is
W'2p` = [a
3
[
2
= 0 .
1048
Consider the ground state and n = 2 states of hydrogen atom.
Indicate in the diagram (Fig. 1.14) the complete spectroscopic notation
for all four states. There are four corrections to the indicated level structure
that must be considered to explain the various observed splitting of the
levels. These corrections are:
Fig. 1.14
(a) Lamb shift,
(b) ﬁne structure,
(c) hyperﬁne structure,
(d) relativistic eﬀects.
(1) Which of the above apply to the n = 1 state?
(2) Which of the above apply to the n = 2, l = 0 state? The n = 2,
l = 1 state?
Atomic and Molecular Physics 57
(3) List in order of decreasing importance these four corrections.
(i.e. biggest one ﬁrst, smallest last). Indicate if some of the corrections
are of the same order of magnitude.
(4) Discuss brieﬂy the physical origins of the hyperﬁne structure. Your
discussion should include an appropriate mention of the Fermi contact po
tential.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The spectroscopic notation for the ground and ﬁrst excited states of
hydrogen atom is shown in Fig. 1.15.
Three corrections give rise to the ﬁne structure for hydrogen atom:
E
f
= E
m
+E
D
+E
so
,
Fig. 1.15
where E
m
is caused by the relativistic eﬀect of mass changing with veloc
ity, E
D
, the Darwin term, arises from the relativistic nonlocality of the
electron, E
so
is due to the spinorbit coupling of the electron. They are
given by
E
m
= −
α
2
Z
4
4n
4
¸
¸
4n
l +
1
2
−3
¸
13.6 eV,
58 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
E
D
=
α
2
Z
4
n
3
δ
l0
13.6 eV,
E
so
=
(1 −δ
l0
)
α
2
Z
4
l
n
3
l(l + 1)(2l + 1)
13.6 eV,
j = l +
1
2
−(1 −δ
l0
)
α
2
Z
4
(l + 1)
n
3
l(l + 1)(2l + 1)
13.6 eV.
j = l −
1
2
where α is the ﬁnestructure constant, and δ
l0
is the usual Kronecker delta.
Lamb shift arises from the interaction between the electron and its ra
diation ﬁeld, giving rise to a correction which, when expanded with respect
to Zα, has the ﬁrst term
E
L
= k(l)
α(Zα)
4
mc
2
2πn
3
= k(l)
α
3
Z
4
πn
3
13.6 eV,
where k(l) is a parameter related to l.
Hyperﬁne structure arises from the coupling of the total angular mo
mentum of the electron with the nuclear spin.
(1) For the n = 1 state (l = 0), E
m
, E
D
, E
L
can only cause the energy
level to shift as a whole. As E
so
= 0 also, the ﬁnestructure correction
does not split the energy level. On the other hand, the hyperﬁne structure
correction can cause a splitting as shown in Fig. 1.16.
Fig. 1.16
Atomic and Molecular Physics 59
(2) For the n = 2 state (l = 0 and l = 1), the ﬁnestructure correction
causes the most splitting in the l = 1 level, to which the hyperﬁne structure
correction also contributes (see Fig. 1.17).
Fig. 1.17
(3) E
m
, E
D
, E
so
are of the same order of magnitude > Lamb shift
hyperﬁne structure.
(4) The hyperﬁne structure can be separated into three terms:
(a) Interaction between the nuclear magnetic moment and the magnetic
ﬁeld at the proton due to the electron’s orbital motion,
(b) dipoledipole interaction between the electron and the nuclear mag
netic moment,
(c) the Fermi contact potential due to the interaction between the spin
magnetic moment of the electron and the internal magnetic ﬁeld of the
proton.
1049
Using the Bohr model of the atom,
(a) derive an expression for the energy levels of the He
+
ion.
(b) calculate the energies of the l = 1 state in a magnetic ﬁeld, neglecting
the electron spin.
(Wisconsin)
60 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
(a) Let the radius of the orbit of the electron be r, and its velocity be
v. Bohr assumed that the angular momentum L
φ
is quantized:
L
φ
= mvr = n . (n = 1, 2, 3 . . . )
The centripetal force is provided by the Coulomb attraction and so
m
v
2
r
=
2e
2
4πε
0
r
2
.
Hence the energy of He
+
is
E
n
=
1
2
mv
2
−
2e
2
4πε
0
r
= −
1
2
mv
2
= −
2me
4
(4πε
0
)
2
n
2
2
.
(b) The area of the electron orbit is
A =
2π
0
r
2
rdφ =
1
2
T
0
r
2
ωdt =
L
φ
2m
T ,
where ω =
dφ
dt
, the angular velocity, is given by L
φ
= mr
2
ω, and T is the
period of circular motion. For l = 1, L
φ
= and the magnetic moment of
the electron due to its orbital motion is
µ = IA = −
e
T
A = −
e
2m
,
where I is the electric current due to the orbital motion of the electron.
The energy arising from interaction between the l = 1 state and a magnetic
ﬁeld B is
∆E = −µ B =
e
2m
B, (µ//B)
0 , (µ ⊥ B)
−
e
2m
B. (µ// −B)
1050
An atom has a nucleus of charge Z and one electron. The nucleus has
a radius R, inside which the charge (protons) is uniformly distributed. We
Atomic and Molecular Physics 61
want to study the eﬀect of the ﬁnite size of the nucleus on the electron
levels:
(a) Calculate the potential taking into account the ﬁnite size of the
nucleus.
(b) Calculate the level shift due to the ﬁnite size of the nucleus for the 1s
state of
208
Pb using perturbation theory, assuming that R is much smaller
than the Bohr radius and approximating the wave function accordingly.
(c) Give a numerical answer to (b) in cm
−1
assuming R = r
0
A
1/3
,
r
0
= 1.2 fermi.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) For r ≥ R.
V (r) = −
Ze
2
4πε
0
r
.
For r < R,
V (r) = −
Ze
2
4πε
0
r
r
R
3
−
R
r
eρ4πr
2
r
dr
= −
Ze
2
8πε
0
R
3
(3R
2
−r
2
) ,
where
ρ =
Ze
4
3
πr
3
.
(b) Taking the departure of the Hamiltonian from that of a point nucleus
as perturbation, we have
H
=
Ze
2
4πε
0
r
−
Ze
2
4πε
0
R
3
2
−
r
2
2R
2
for r < R,
0 for r ≥ R.
The 1s wave function of
208
Pb is
[1s` = 2
Z
a
0
3/2
exp
−
2r
a
0
1
√
4π
,
62 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where Z = 82, a
0
is the Bohr radius. Taking the approximation r < a
0
,
i.e., exp(−
2r
a
0
) ≈ 1, the energy shift is
∆E = '1s[H
[1s`
= −
4Z
4
e
2
4πε
0
a
3
0
R
0
3
2R
−
r
2
2R
3
−
1
r
r
2
dr
=
4
5
Z
2
[E
0
[
R
a
0
2
,
where E
0
= −
Z
2
e
2
(4πε
0
)2a
0
is the ground state energy of a hydrogenlike atom.
(c)
∆E =
4
5
82
2
(82
2
13.6)
1.2 10
−19
208
1
3
5.29 10
−9
2
= 8.89 eV,
∆˜ ν =
∆E
hc
≈ 7.2 10
4
cm
−1
.
1051
If the proton is approximated as a uniform charge distribution in a
sphere of radius R, show that the shift of an swave atomic energy level
in the hydrogen atom, from the value it would have for a point proton, is
approximately
∆E
ns
≈
2π
5
e
2
[Ψ
ns
(0)[
2
R
2
,
using the fact that the proton radius is much smaller than the Bohr radius.
Why is the shift much smaller for nons states?
The 2s hydrogenic wave function is
(2a
0
)
−3/2
π
−1/2
1 −
r
2a
0
exp
−
r
2a
0
.
What is the approximate splitting (in eV) between the 2s and 2p levels
induced by this eﬀect? [a
0
≈ 5 10
−9
cm for H, R ≈ 10
−13
cm.]
(Wisconsin)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 63
Solution:
The perturbation caused by the ﬁnite volume of proton is (Pro
blem 1050)
H
=
0, (r ≥ R)
e
2
r
−
e
2
R
3
2
−
r
2
2R
2
. (r < R)
The unperturbed wave function is
Ψ
ns
= N
n0
exp
−
r
na
0
F
−n + 1, 2,
2r
na
0
Y
00
,
where
N
n0
=
2
(na
0
)
3/2
n!
(n −1)!
≈
2
(na
0
)
3/2
,
F
−n + 1, 2,
2r
na
0
=1 −
n −1
2
2r
na
0
+
(n −1)(n −2)
2 3
1
2!
2r
na
0
2
+ .
Taking the approximation r <a
0
, we have
F
−n + 1, 2,
2r
na
0
≈ 1 , exp
−
r
na
0
≈ 1 ,
and so
Ψ
ns
= N
n0
Y
00
=
2
(na
0
)
3/2
Y
00
,
∆E
ns
= 'Ψ
∗
ns
[H
[Ψ
ns
` =
R
0
¸
e
2
r
−
e
2
R
3
2
−
r
2
2R
2
Ψ
∗
ns
Ψ
ns
r
2
drdΩ
=
2π
5
e
2
R
2
π(na
0
)
3
.
Using
Ψ
ns
(0) =
2
(na
0
)
3/2
1
√
4π
=
1
√
π(na
0
)
3/2
,
we have
64 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
∆E
ns
=
2π
5
e
2
[Ψ
ns
(0)[
2
R
2
.
As the nons wave functions have a much smaller fraction inside the
nucleus and so cause smaller perturbation, the energy shift is much smaller.
For hydrogen atom, since ∆E
2p
<∆E
2s
,
∆E
ps
= ∆E
2s
−∆E
2p
≈ ∆E
2s
=
2π
5
e
2
[Ψ
2s
(0)[
2
R,
where
Ψ
2s
(0) = (2a
0
)
−3/2
π
−1/2
.
Hence
∆E
ps
≈
2π
5
e
2
[(2a
0
)
−3/2
π
−1/2
]
2
R
2
=
e
2
R
2
20a
3
0
=
e
2
c
2
R
2
mc
2
20a
2
0
=
1
137
2
10
−26
0.511 10
6
20 (5 10
−9
)
2
≈ 5.4 10
−10
eV.
1052
The ground state of hydrogen atom is 1s. When examined very closely,
it is found that the level is split into two levels.
(a) Explain why this splitting takes place.
(b) Estimate numerically the energy diﬀerence between these two levels.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) In the ﬁnestructure spectrum of hydrogen atom, the ground state
1s is not split. The splitting is caused by the coupling between the magnetic
moments of the nuclear spin and the electron spin:
ˆ
F =
ˆ
I +
ˆ
J. As I = 1/2,
J = 1/2, the total angular momentum is F = 1 or F = 0, corresponding to
the two split energy levels.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 65
(b) The magnetic moment of the nucleus (proton) is µ = µ
N
σ
N
, where
σ
N
is the Pauli matrix operating on the nuclear wave function, inducing a
magnetic ﬁeld H
m
= ∇∇(
µ
N
σ
N
r
). The Hamiltonian of the interaction
between H
m
and the electron magnetic moment µ = −µ
e
σ
e
is
ˆ
H = −µ
ˆ
H
m
= µ
e
µ
N
σ
e
∇∇
σ
N
r
.
Calculation gives the hyperﬁne structure splitting as (Problem 1053)
∆E = A
I J,
where
A
∼
µ
e
µ
N
e
2
a
3
0
≈
m
e
m
N
m
e
c
2
4
e
2
c
4
≈
1
2000
0.51 10
6
4
1
137
4
≈ 2 10
−7
eV,
m
e
, m
N
, c, a
0
being the electron mass, nucleon mass, velocity of light, Bohr
radius respectively.
1053
Derive an expression for the splitting in energy of an atomic energy level
produced by the hyperﬁne interaction. Express your result in terms of the
relevant angular momentum quantum numbers.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
The hyperﬁne structure is caused by the interaction between the mag
netic ﬁeld produced by the orbital motion and spin of the electron and the
nuclear magnetic moment m
N
. Taking the site of the nucleus as origin, the
magnetic ﬁeld caused by the orbital motion of the electron at the origin is
B
e
(0) =
µ
0
e
4π
v r
r
3
= −
2µ
0
µ
B
4π
l
r
3
,
66 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where v is the velocity of the electron in its orbit, l = mr v is its orbital
angular momentum, µ
B
=
e
2m
, m being the electron mass, is the Bohr
magneton.
The Hamiltonian of the interaction between the nuclear magnetic mo
ment m
N
and B
e
(0) is
H
lI
= −m
N
B
e
(0) =
2µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
2
r
3
l I ,
where I is the nuclear spin, µ
N
the nuclear magneton, g
N
the Land´e gfactor
of the nucleon.
At r +r
, the vector potential caused by the electron magnetic moment
m
s
= −
2µ
B
s
is A =
µ
0
4π
m
s
r
r
3
, r
being the radius vector from r to the
ﬁeld point. So the magnetic ﬁeld is
B
s
= ∇A =
µ
0
4π
∇
m
s
r
r
3
=
2µ
0
µ
B
4π
∇
s ∇
1
r
=
2µ
0
µ
B
4π
¸
s∇
2
1
r
−(s ∇
)∇
1
r
= −
2µ
0
µ
B
4π
¸
4πsδ(r
) + (s ∇
)∇
1
r
.
Letting r
= −r, we get the magnetic ﬁeld caused by m
s
at the origin:
B
s
(0) = −
2µ
0
µ
B
4π
¸
4πsδ(r) + (s ∇)∇
1
r
.
Hence the Hamiltonian of the interaction between m
N
=
g
N
µ
N
I
and
B
s
(0) is
H
sI
= −m
N
B
s
(0)
=
2µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
2
¸
4πI sδ(r) + (s ∇)
I ∇
1
r
.
The total Hamiltonian is then
H
hf
= H
lI
+H
sI
=
2µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
2
¸
l I
r
3
+ 4πs Iδ(r) + (s ∇)
I ∇
1
r
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 67
In zeroth order approximation, the wave function is [lsjIFM
F
`, where
l, s and j are respectively the quantum numbers of orbital angular momen
tum, spin and total angular momentum of the electron, I is the quantum
number of the nuclear spin, F is the quantum number of the total angular
momentum of the atom and M
F
is of its zcomponent quantum number.
Hence in ﬁrst order perturbation the energy correction due to H
hf
is
∆E = 'lsjIFM
F
[H
hf
[lsjIFM
F
` .
If l = 0, the wave function is zero at the origin and we only need to
consider H
hf
for r = 0. Thus
H
hf
=
2µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
2
¸
I l
r
3
+ (s ∇)
I ∇
1
r
=
2µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
2
r
3
G I ,
where
G = l + 3
(s r)r
r
2
.
Hence
∆E =
2µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
2
1
r
3
G I
=
µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
l(l + 1)
j(j + 1)
[F(F + 1) −I(I + 1) −j(j + 1)]
1
r
3
=
µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
Z
3
a
3
0
n
3
l +
1
2
j(j + 1)
[F(F + 1)
−I(I + 1) −j(j + 1)] ,
where a
0
is the Bohr radius and Z is the atomic number of the atom.
For l = 0, the wave function is spherically symmetric and
∆E =
2µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
2
¸
4π's Iδ(r)` +
(s ∇)
I ∇
1
r
.
68 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
As
(s ∇)
I ∇
1
r
=
3
¸
i,j=1
s
i
I
j
∂
2
∂x
i
∂x
j
1
r
¸
=
3
¸
i,j=1
s
i
I
j
∂
2
∂x
2
i
1
r
¸
+
3
¸
i,j=1
i=j
s
i
I
j
∂
2
∂x
i
∂x
j
1
r
¸
=
1
3
s I∇
2
1
r
= −
4π
3
's Iδ(r)` ,
we have
∆E =
2µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
2
8π
3
's Iδ(r)`
=
µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
4π
[F(F + 1) −I(I + 1) −s(s + 1)]
8π
3
'δ(r)`
=
2µ
0
g
N
µ
N
µ
B
3π
Z
3
a
3
0
n
3
[F(F + 1) −I(I + 1) −s(s + 1)] .
1054
What is meant by the ﬁne structure and hyperﬁne structure of spectral
lines? Discuss their physical origins. Give an example of each, including
an estimate of the magnitude of the eﬀect. Sketch the theory of one of the
eﬀects.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Fine structure: The spectral terms as determined by the principal
quantum number n and the orbital angular momentum quantum number
l are split due to a coupling between the electron spin s and orbital angu
lar momentum l. Consequently the spectral lines arising from transitions
between the energy levels are each split into several lines. For example,
the spectral line arising from the transition 3p → 3s of Na atom shows a
doublet structure, the two yellow lines D
1
(5896
˚
A), D
2
(5890
˚
A) which are
close to each other.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 69
As an example of numerical estimation, consider the ﬁne structure in
hydrogen.
The magnetic ﬁeld caused by the orbital motion of the electron is B =
µ
0
ev
4πr
2
. The dynamic equation
mv
2
r
=
e
2
4πε
0
r
2
and the quantization condition
mvr = n give v = αc/n, where α =
e
2
c
is the ﬁnestructure constant,
n = 1, 2, 3, . . . . For the ground state n = 1. Then the interaction energy
between the spin magnetic moment µ
s
of the electron and the magnetic
ﬁeld B is
∆E ≈ −µ
s
B ≈
µ
0
µ
B
αec
4πr
2
,
where µ
s
= −
e
2m
= −µ
B
, the Bohr magnetron. Take r ≈ 10
−10
m, we ﬁnd
∆E ≈ 10
−7
10
−23
10
−2
10
−19
10
8
/10
−20
≈ 10
−23
J ≈ 10
−4
eV.
Considering an electron moving in a central potential V (r) = −
Ze
2
4πε
0
r
, the
interaction Hamiltonian between its orbital angular momentum about the
center, l, and spin s can be obtained quantum mechanically following the
same procedure as
H
=
1
2m
2
c
2
1
r
dV
dr
(s l) .
Taking H
as perturbation we then obtain the ﬁrst order energy correction
∆E
nlj
= 'H
` =
Rhcα
2
Z
4
¸
j(j + 1) −l(l + 1) −
3
4
2n
3
l
l +
1
2
(l + 1)
,
where R is the Rydberg constant, j is the total angular momentum of the
electron.
As states with diﬀerent j have diﬀerent ∆E
nlj
, an energy level (n, l) is
split into two levels with j = l + 1/2 and j = l −1/2.
(b) Hyperﬁne structure: Taking into account the coupling between the
nuclear spin I and the total angular momentum j of the orbiting electron,
an energy level determined by j will be split further, forming a hyperﬁne
structure. Using an instrument of high resolution, we can see that the D
1
spectral line of Na atom is actually composed of two lines with a separation
of 0.023
˚
A, and the D
2
line is composed of two lines separated by 0.021
˚
A.
70 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
For ground state hydrogen atom, the magnetic ﬁeld caused by the elec
tron at the nucleus is B =
µ
0
ev
4πa
2
, where a is the Bohr radius. The hyperﬁne
structure splitting is
∆E ≈ µ
N
B ≈
µ
0
4π
µ
N
eαc
a
2
≈ 10
−7
5 10
−27
1.6 10
−19
3 10
8
137 (0.53 10
−10
)
2
J
≈ 10
−7
eV.
A theory of hyperﬁne structure is outlined in Problem 1053.
1055
Calculate, to an order of magnitude, the following properties of the 2p
1s electromagnetic transition in an atom formed by a muon and a strontium
nucleus (Z = 38):
(a) the ﬁnestructure splitting,
(b) the natural line width. (Hint: the lifetime of the 2p state of hydrogen
is 10
−9
sec)
(Princeton)
Solution:
Taking into account the hyperﬁne structure corrections, the energy lev
els of a hydrogenlike atom are given by
E = E
0
+ ∆E
r
+ ∆E
ls
=
−
RhcZ
2
n
2
−
Rhcα
2
Z
4
n
3
1
l
−
3
4n
,
j = l −
1
2
−
RhcZ
2
n
2
−
Rhcα
2
Z
4
n
3
1
l + 1
−
3
4n
.
j = l +
1
2
The 1s state is not split, but the 2p state is split into two substates corre
sponding to j = 1/2 and j = 3/2. The energy diﬀerence between the two
lines of 2p →1s is
∆E =
Rhcα
2
Z
4
n
3
1
l
−
1
l + 1
,
Atomic and Molecular Physics 71
where Z = 38, n = 2, l = 1, R = m
µ
R
H
/m
e
≈ 200R
H
= 2.2 10
9
m
−1
,
α =
1
137
. Hence
∆E =
2.2 10
9
4.14 10
−15
3 10
8
38
4
2
3
137
2
2
= 1.9 10
4
eV.
(b) The lifetime of the 2p state of µmesic atom is
τ
µ
=
1
Z
4
m
e
m
µ
τ
H
= 2.4 10
−18
s .
The uncertainty principle gives the natural width of the level as
Γ ≈ /τ
µ
= 2.7 10
2
eV.
1056
The lowestenergy optical absorption of neutral alkali atoms corresponds
to a transition ns → (n + 1)p and gives rise to a characteristic doublet
structure. The intensity ratio of these two lines for light alkalis is 2; but as
Z increases, so does the ratio, becoming 3.85 for Cs (6s →7p).
(a) Write an expression for the spinorbit operator N(r).
(b) In a hydrogenic atom, is this operator diagonal in the principal
quantum number n? Is it diagonal in J?
(c) Using the following data, evaluate approximately the lowest order
correction to the intensity ratio for the Cs doublet:
E
n
= energy of the np state in cm
−1
,
I
n
= transition intensity for the unperturbed states from the 6s state
to the np state,
I
6
/I
7
= 1.25 , I
8
/I
7
= 0.5 ,
∆n = spinorbit splitting of the np state in cm
−1
,
∆
6
= 554 E
6
= −19950 ,
∆
7
= 181 E
7
= −9550 ,
∆
8
= 80 E8 = −5660 .
72 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
In evaluating the terms in the correction, you may assume that the
states can be treated as hydrogenic.
HINT: For small r, the diﬀerent hydrogenic radial wave functions are
proportional: f
m
(r) = k
mn
f
n
(r), so that, to a good approximation,
'6p[N(r)[6p` ≈ k
67
'7p[N(r)[6p` ≈ k
2
67
'7p[N(r)[7p`.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The spinorbit interaction Hamiltonian is
N(r) =
1
2µ
2
c
2
r
dV
dr
ˆs
ˆ
I
=
1
4µ
2
c
2
r
dV
dr
(
ˆ
j
2
−
ˆ
l
2
−ˆs
2
) ,
where µ is the reduced mass, and V = −
Ze
2
4πε
0
r
.
(b) The Hamiltonian is H = H
0
+ N(r). For hydrogen atom, [H
0
,
N(r)] = 0, so in the principal quantum number n, N(r) is not diagonal.
Generally,
'nlm[N(r)[klm` = 0 .
In the total angular momentum j (with ﬁxed n), since [N(r),
ˆ
j
2
] = 0, N(r)
is diagonal.
(c) The rate of induced transition is
W
k
k
=
4π
2
e
2
3
2
[r
k
k
[
2
ρ(ω
k
k
)
and the intensity of the spectral line is I(ω
k
k
) ∝ ω
k
k
W
k
k
.
With coupling between spin and orbital angular momentum, each np
energy level of alkali atom is split into two sublevels, corresponding to
j = 3/2 and j = 1/2. However as the s state is not split, the transition
ns → (n + 1)p will give rise to a doublet. As the splitting of the energy
level is very small, the frequencies of the ns →(n+1)p double lines can be
taken to be approximately equal and so I ∝ [r
k
k
[
2
.
The degeneracy of the j = 3/2 state is 4, with j
z
= 3/2, 1/2, −1/2, −3/2;
the degeneracy of the j = 1/2 state is 2, with j
z
= 1/2, −1/2. In the zeroth
order approximation, the intensity ratio of these two lines is
Atomic and Molecular Physics 73
I
j =
3
2
I
j =
1
2
=
¸
j
z
(n + 1)p
3
2
r
ns
2
¸
j
z
(n + 1)p
1
2
r
ns
2
≈ 2 ,
as given. In the above [(n + 1)p, 1/2`, [(n + 1)p, 3/2` are respectively the
zeroth order approximate wave functions of the j = 1/2 and j = 3/2 states
of the energy level (n + 1)p.
To ﬁnd the intensity ratio of the two lines of 6s → 7p transition of Cs
atom, take N(r) as perturbation. First calculate the approximate wave
functions:
Ψ
3/2
=
7p
3
2
+
∞
¸
n=6
np
3
2
N(r)
7p
3
2
E
7
−E
n
np
3
2
,
Ψ
1/2
=
7p
1
2
+
∞
¸
n=6
np
1
2
N(r)
7p
1
2
E
7
−E
n
np
1
2
,
and then the matrix elements:
['Ψ
3/2
[r[6s`[
2
=
7p
3
2
r
6s
+
∞
¸
n=6
np
3
2
N(r)
7p
3
2
E
7
−E
n
np
3
2
r
6s
2
≈
7p
3
2
r
6s
2
1 +
∞
¸
n=6
np
3
2
N(r)
7p
3
2
E
7
−E
n
I
n
I
7
2
,
['Ψ
1/2
[r[6s`[
2
=
7p
1
2
r
6s
+
∞
¸
n=6
np
1
2
N(r)
7p
1
2
E
7
−E
n
np
1
2
r
6s
2
≈
7p
1
2
r
6s
2
1 +
∞
¸
n=6
np
1
2
N(r)
7p
1
2
E
7
−E
n
I
n
I
7
2
,
where
74 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
np
3
2
r
6s
7p
3
2
r
6s
≈
np
1
2
r
6s
7p
1
2
r
6s
≈
I
n
I
7
.
As
N(r) =
1
4µ
2
c
2
r
dV
dr
(
ˆ
j
2
−
ˆ
l
2
−ˆs
2
)
= F(r)(
ˆ
j
2
−
ˆ
l
2
−ˆs
2
) ,
where
F(r) ≡
1
4µ
2
c
2
r
dV
dr
,
we have
np
3
2
N(r)
7p
3
2
=
np
3
2
F(r)(
ˆ
j
2
−
ˆ
l
2
−ˆs
2
)
7p
3
2
=
¸
3
2
3
2
+ 1
−1 (1 + 1) −
1
2
1
2
+ 1
2
'np[F(r)[7p` =
2
'np[F(r)[7p` ,
np
1
2
N(r)
7p
1
2
=−2
2
'np[F(r)[7p` .
For n = 7, as
∆
7
=
7p
3
2
N(r)
7p
3
2
−
7p
1
2
N(r)
7p
1
2
= 3
2
'7p[F(r)[7p` ,
we have
'7p[F(r)[7p` =
∆
7
3
2
.
For n = 6, we have
6p
3
2
N(r)
7p
3
2
=
2
'6p[F(r)[7p` =
2
k
67
'7p[F(r)[7p` =
k
67
3
∆
7
,
6p
1
2
N(r)
7p
1
2
= −2
2
'6p[F(r)[7p`
= −2
2
k
67
'7p[F(r)[7p` = −
2k
67
3
∆
7
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 75
For n = 8, we have
8p
3
2
N(r)
7p
3
2
=
k
87
3
∆
7
,
8p
1
2
N(r)
7p
1
2
= −
2k
87
3
∆
7
.
In the above
k
67
=
'6p[F(r)[7p`
'7p[F(r)[7p`
,
k
87
=
'8p[F(r)[7p`
'7p[F(r)[7p`
.
Hence
['Ψ
3/2
[r[6s`[
2
=
7p
3
2
r
6s
2
1 +
k
67
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
6
)
I
6
I
7
+
k
87
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
8
)
I
8
I
7
2
,
['Ψ
1/2
[r[6s`[
2
=
7p
1
2
r
6s
2
1 −
2k
67
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
6
)
I
6
I
7
−
2k
87
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
8
)
I
8
I
7
2
.
As
∆
6
=
6p
3
2
N(r)
6p
3
2
−
6p
1
2
N(r)
6p
1
2
= 3
2
'6p[F(r)[6p`
= 3
2
k
2
67
'7p[F(r)[7p` = k
2
67
∆
7
,
we have
k
67
=
∆
6
∆
7
,
and similarly
k
87
=
∆
8
∆
7
.
Thus
76 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
I
j =
3
2
I
j =
1
2
=
¸
j
z
['Ψ
3/2
[r[6s`[
2
¸
j
z
['Ψ
1/2
[r[6s`[
2
≈ 2
1 +
k
67
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
6
)
I
6
I
7
+
k
87
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
8
)
I
8
I
7
1 −
2k
67
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
6
)
I
6
I
7
−
2k
87
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
8
)
I
8
I
7
2
= 2
1 +
√
∆
6
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
6
)
I
6
I
7
+
√
∆
8
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
8
)
I
8
I
7
1 −
2
√
∆
6
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
6
)
I
6
I
7
−
2
√
∆
8
∆
7
3(E
7
−E
8
)
I
8
I
7
2
= 3.94 ,
using the data supplied.
1057
An atomic clock can be based on the (21cm) groundstate hyperﬁne
transition in atomic hydrogen. Atomic hydrogen at low pressure is con
ﬁned to a small spherical bottle (r < λ = 21 cm) with walls coated by
Teﬂon. The magnetically neutral character of the wall coating and the
very short “dwelltimes” of the hydrogen on Teﬂon enable the hydrogen
atom to collide with the wall with little disturbance of the spin state. The
bottle is shielded from external magnetic ﬁelds and subjected to a controlled
weak and uniform ﬁeld of prescribed orientation. The resonant frequency
of the gas can be detected in the absorption of 21cm radiation, or alter
natively by subjecting the gas cell to a short radiation pulse and observing
the coherently radiated energy.
(a) The Zeeman eﬀect of these hyperﬁne states is important. Draw an
energy level diagram and give quantum numbers for the hyperﬁne substates
of the ground state as functions of ﬁeld strength. Include both the weak
and strong ﬁeld regions of the Zeeman pattern.
(b) How can the energy level splitting of the strong ﬁeld region be used
to obtain a measure of the gfactor for the proton?
Atomic and Molecular Physics 77
(c) In the weak ﬁeld case one energylevel transition is aﬀected little
by the magnetic ﬁeld. Which one is this? Make a rough estimate of the
maximum magnetic ﬁeld strength which can be tolerated with the resonance
frequency shifted by ∆ν < 10
−10
ν.
(d) There is no Doppler broadening of the resonance line. Why is this?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Taking account of the hyperﬁne structure and the Zeeman eﬀect,
two terms are to be added to the Hamiltonian of hydrogen atom:
H
hf
= AI J, (A > 0)
H
B
= −µ B.
For the ground state of hydrogen,
I =
1
2
, J =
1
2
µ = −g
e
e
2m
e
c
J
+g
p
e
2m
p
c
I
.
Letting
e
2m
e
c
= µ
B
,
e
2m
p
c
= µ
N
and using units in which = 1 we have
µ = −g
e
µ
B
J +g
p
µ
N
I .
(1) Weak magnetic ﬁeld case. 'H
nf
` 'H
B
`, we couple I, J as F =
I +J. Then taking H
hf
as the main Hamiltonian and H
B
as perturbation
we solve the problem in the representation of ¦
ˆ
F
2
,
ˆ
I
2
,
ˆ
J
2
,
ˆ
F
z
¦. As
H
hf
=
A
2
(
ˆ
F
2
−
ˆ
I
2
−
ˆ
J
2
) =
A
2
ˆ
F
2
−
1
2
3
2
−
1
2
3
2
=
A
2
ˆ
F
2
−
3
2
,
we have
∆E
hf
=
−
3
4
A for F = 0
1
4
A for F = 1 .
78 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
In the subspace of ¦
ˆ
F
2
,
ˆ
F
z
¦, the WignerEcart theory gives
'µ` =
(−g
e
µ
B
J +g
p
µ
N
I) F
F
2
F.
As for I = J =
1
2
,
J F =
1
2
(
ˆ
F
2
+
ˆ
J
2
−
ˆ
I
2
) =
1
2
ˆ
F
2
,
I F =
1
2
(
ˆ
F
2
+
ˆ
I
2
−
ˆ
J
2
) =
1
2
ˆ
F
2
,
we have
'µ` = −
g
e
µ
B
−g
p
µ
N
2
ˆ
F.
Then as
H
B
= −µ B =
g
e
µ
B
−g
p
µ
N
2
B
ˆ
F
z
,
we have
∆E
B
=
E
1
, (F
z
= 1)
0, (F
z
= 0)
−E
1
, (F
z
= −1)
where
E
1
=
g
e
µ
B
−g
p
µ
N
2
B.
(2) Strong magnetic ﬁeld case. As 'H
B
` 'H
hf
`, we can treat H
B
as
the main Hamiltonian and H
hf
as perturbation. With ¦
ˆ
J
2
,
ˆ
I
2
,
ˆ
J
z
,
ˆ
I
z
¦ as a
complete set of mechanical quantities, the base of the subspace is [ + +`,
[ + −`, [ − +`, [ − −` (where [ + +` means J
z
= +1/2, I
z
= +1/2, etc.).
The energy correction is
∆E = 'H
hf
+H
B
` = 'AI
z
J
z
` +g
e
µ
B
B'J
z
` −g
p
µ
N
B'I
z
`
=
E
1
+
A
4
for [ + +`,
E
2
−
A
4
for [ +−`,
−E
2
−
A
4
for [ −+`,
−E
1
+
A
4
for [ −−`,
where
Atomic and Molecular Physics 79
E
1
=
g
e
µ
B
−g
p
µ
N
2
B,
E
2
=
g
e
µ
B
+g
p
µ
N
2
B.
The quantum numbers of the energy sublevels are given below and the
energy level scheme is shown in Fig. 1.18.
quantum numbers (F, J, I, F
z
), (J, I, J
z
, I
z
)
sublevel (1, 1/2, 1/2, 1) (1/2, 1/2, 1/2, −1/2)
(1, 1/2, 1/2, 0) (1/2, 1/2, 1/2, 1/2)
(1, 1/2, 1/2, −1) (1/2, 1/2, −1/2, −1/2)
(0, 1/2, 1/2, 0) (1/2, 1/2, −1/2, 1/2)
Fig. 1.18
(b) In a strong magnetic ﬁeld, the gradients of the energy levels with
respect to B satisfy the relation
80 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
∆E
+−
∆B
+
∆E
−−
∆B
∆E
+−
∆B
+
∆E
++
∆B
=
g
p
µ
N
g
e
µ
B
,
which may be used to determine g
p
if the other quantities are known.
(c) In a weak magnetic ﬁeld, the states [F = 1, F
z
= 0`, [F = 0, F
z
= 0`
are not appreciably aﬀected by the magnetic ﬁeld, so is the transition energy
between these two states. This conclusion has been reached for the case
of weak magnetic ﬁeld (A E
1
) considering only the ﬁrst order eﬀect. It
may be expected that the eﬀect of magnetic ﬁeld on these two states would
appear at most as second order of E
1
/A. Thus the dependence on B of the
energy of the two states is
E
1
A
2
A =
E
2
1
A
,
and so
∆ν
ν
=
∆E
E
≈
E
2
1
A
A
4
−
−
3A
4
=
E
2
1
A
2
≈
g
e
µ
B
B
2A
2
,
neglecting g
p
µ
N
. For ∆ν/ν < 10
−10
and the 21cm line we have
A =
1
4
A−
−
3
4
A
= hν =
2πc
λ
≈
2π 2 10
−5
21
= 6 10
−6
eV,
and so
B ≤
2A
g
e
µ
B
2
10
−5
=
2 6 10
−6
2 6 10
−9
10
−5
= 10
−2
Gs .
(d) The resonance energy is very small. When photon is emitted, the
ratio of the recoil energy of the nucleon to that of the photon E, ∆E/E <1.
Hence the Doppler broadening caused by recoiling can be neglected.
1058
Consider an atom formed by the binding of an Ω
−
particle to a bare Pb
nucleus (Z = 82).
(a) Calculate the energy splitting of the n = 10, l = 9 level of this atom
due to the spinorbit interaction. The spin of the Ω
−
particle is 3/2. Assume
a magnetic moment of µ =
e
2mc
gp
s
with g = 2 and m = 1672 MeV/c
2
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 81
Note:
1
r
3
=
mc
2
c
3
(αZ)
3
1
n
3
l
l +
1
2
(l + 1)
for a particle of mass m bound to a charge Z in a hydrogenlike state of
quantum numbers (n, l).
(b) If the Ω
−
has an electric quadrupole moment Q ∼ 10
−26
cm
2
there
will be an additional energy shift due to the interaction of this moment with
the Coulomb ﬁeld gradient ∂E
z
/∂z. Estimate the magnitude of this shift;
compare it with the results found in (a) and also with the total transition
energy of the n = 11 to n = 10 transition in this atom.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The energy of interaction between the spin and orbital magnetic
moments of the Ω
−
particle is
∆E
ls
= Zµ
l
µ
s
1
r
3
,
where
µ
l
=
e
2mc
p
l
, =
e
2mc
l ,
µ
s
=
e
mc
p
s
, =
e
mc
s ,
p
l
, p
s
being the orbital and spin angular momenta. Thus
∆E
ls
=
Ze
2
2
2m
2
c
2
1
r
3
l s .
As
l s =
1
2
[(l +s)
2
−l
2
−s
2
] ,
we have
∆E
ls
=
Ze
2
2
2m
2
c
2
1
r
3
(j
2
−l
2
−s
2
)
2
=
(Zα)
4
mc
2
4
j(j + 1) −l(l + 1) −s(s + 1)
n
3
l
l +
1
2
(l + 1)
¸
¸
¸
¸
.
82 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
With Z = 82, m = 1672 MeV/c
2
, s = 3/2, n = 10, l = 9, α =
1
137
, and
'1/r
3
` as given, we ﬁnd ∆E
ls
= 62.75 [j(j + 1) −93.75] eV. The results
are given in the table below.
j ∆E
ls
(eV) Level splitting (eV)
19/2 377 1193
17/2 −816 1067
15/2 −1883 941
13/2 −2824
(b) The energy shift due to the interaction between the electric quad
rupole moment Q and the Coulomb ﬁeld gradient
∂E
z
∂z
is
∆E
Q
≈ Q
∂E
z
∂z
,
where
∂E
z
∂z
is the average value of the gradient of the nuclear Coulomb ﬁeld
at the site of Ω
−
. As
∂E
z
∂z
≈ −
1
r
3
,
we have
∆E
Q
≈ −Q
1
r
3
in the atomic units of the hyperon atom which have units of length and
energy, respectively,
a =
2
me
2
=
c
mc
2
c
e
2
=
1.97 10
11
1672
137 = 1.61 10
−12
cm,
ε =
me
4
2
= mc
2
e
2
c
2
=
1672 10
6
137
2
= 8.91 10
4
eV.
For n = 10, l = 9, '
1
r
3
` = 1.53 10
35
cm
−3
≈ 0.6 a.u. With Q ≈
10
−26
cm
2
≈ 4 10
−3
a.u., we have
∆E
Q
≈ 2.4 10
−3
a.u. ≈ 2 10
2
eV.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 83
The total energy resulting from a transition from n = 11 to n = 10 is
∆E =
Z
2
mc
2
2
e
2
c
2
1
10
2
−
1
11
2
=
82
2
1672 10
6
2 137
2
1
10
2
−
1
11
2
≈ 5 10
5
eV.
1059
What is the energy of the photon emitted in the transition from the
n = 3 to n = 2 level of the µ
−
mesic atom of carbon? Express it in terms of
the γ energy for the electronic transition from n = 2 to n = 1 of hydrogen,
given that m
µ
/m
e
= 210.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The energy of the µ
−
atom of carbon is
E
n
(µ) =
Z
2
m
µ
m
e
E
n
(H) ,
where E
n
(H) is the energy of the corresponding hydrogen atom, and Z = 6.
The energy of the photon emitted in the transition from n = 3 to n = 2
level of the mesic atom is
∆E =
Z
2
m
µ
m
e
[E
3
(H) −E
2
(H)] .
As
−E
n
(H) ∝
1
n
2
,
we have
36
5
[E
3
(H) −E
2
(H)] =
4
3
[E
2
(H) −E
1
(H)] ,
and hence
∆E =
5Z
2
m
µ
27m
e
[E
2
(H) −E
1
(H)]
= 1400[E
2
(H) −E
1
(H)] ,
84 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where E
2
(H) −E
1
(H) is the energy of the photon emitted in the transition
from n = 2 to n = 1 level of hydrogen atom.
1060
The muon is a relatively longlived elementary particle with mass 207
times the mass of electron. The electric charge and all known interactions of
the muon are identical to those of the electron. A “muonic atom” consists
of a neutral atom in which one electron is replaced by a muon.
(a) What is the binding energy of the ground state of muonic hydrogen?
(b) What ordinary chemical element does muonic lithium (Z = 3) re
semble most? Explain your answer.
(MIT)
Solution:
(a) By analogy with the hydrogen atom, the binding energy of the
ground state of the muonic atom is
E
µ
=
m
µ
e
4
2
2
= 207E
H
= 2.82 10
3
eV.
(b) A muonic lithium atom behaves chemically most like a He atom. As
µ and electron are diﬀerent fermions, they ﬁll their own orbits. The two
electrons stay in the ground state, just like those in the He atom, while the
µ stays in its own ground state, whose orbital radius is 1/207 of that of the
electrons. The chemical properties of an atom is determined by the number
of its outer most shell electrons. Hence the mesic atom behaves like He,
rather than like Li.
1061
The Hamiltonian for a (µ
+
e
−
) atom in the n = 1, l = 0 state in an
external magnetic ﬁeld is
H = aS
µ
S
e
+
[e[
m
e
c
S
e
B−
[e[
m
µ
c
S
µ
B.
(a) What is the physical signiﬁcance of each term? Which term domi
nates in the interaction with the external ﬁeld?
Atomic and Molecular Physics 85
(b) Choosing the zaxis along B and using the notation (F, M
F
), where
F = S
µ
+S
e
, show that (1, +1) is an eigenstate of H and give its eigenvalue.
(c) An RF ﬁeld can be applied to cause transition to the state (0,0).
Describe quantitatively how an observation of the decay µ
+
→ e
+
ν
e
¯ ν
µ
could be used to detect the occurrence of this transition.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) In the Hamiltonian, the ﬁrst term, aS
µ
S
e
, describes the elec
tromagnetic interaction between µ
+
and e
−
, the second and third terms
respectively describe the interactions between the electron and µ
+
with the
external magnetic ﬁeld.
(b) Denote the state of F = 1, M
F
= +1 with Ψ. As F = S
µ
+S
e
, we
have
S
µ
S
e
=
1
2
(F
2
−S
2
µ
−S
2
e
) ,
and hence
S
µ
S
e
Ψ =
1
2
(F
2
Ψ−S
2
µ
Ψ−S
2
e
Ψ) =
2
2
2Ψ−
3
4
Ψ−
3
4
Ψ
=
2
4
Ψ.
In the common eigenvector representation of S
z
e
, S
z
µ
, the Ψ state is
represented by the spinor
Ψ =
1
0
e
⊗
1
0
µ
.
Then
S
z
e
Ψ =
2
σ
z
e
Ψ =
2
Ψ,
S
z
µ
Ψ =
2
σ
z
µ
Ψ =
2
Ψ,
and so
H = aS
µ
S
e
Ψ +
e
m
e
c
BS
z
e
Ψ−
e
m
µ
c
BS
z
µ
Ψ
= a
2
4
Ψ +
eB
m
e
c
2
Ψ−
eB
m
µ
c
2
Ψ
=
1
4
a
2
+
eB
2m
e
c
−
eB
2m
µ
c
Ψ.
Hence the (1, +1) state is an eigenstate of H with eigenvalue
86 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1
4
a
2
+
eB
2m
e
c
−
eB
2m
µ
c
.
(c) The two particles in the state (1, +1) have parallel spins, while those
in the state (0,0) have antiparallel spins. So relative to the direction of
spin of the electron, the polarization directions of µ
+
in the two states are
opposite. It follows that the spin of the positrons arising from the decay
of µ
+
is opposite in direction to the spin of the electron. An (e
+
e
−
) pair
annihilate to give rise to 3γ or 2γ in accordance with whether their spins
are parallel or antiparallel. Therefore if it is observed that the (e
+
e
−
) pair
arising from the decay µ
+
→ e
+
ν
e
˜ µ
µ
annihilate to give 2γ, then it can be
concluded that the transition is between the states (1, +1) and (0,0).
1062
Muonic atoms consist of mumesons (mass m
µ
= 206m
e
) bound to
atomic nuclei in hydrogenic orbits. The energies of the mu mesic levels
are shifted relative to their values for a point nucleus because the nuclear
charge is distributed over a region with radius R. The eﬀective Coulomb
potential can be approximated as
V (r) =
−
Ze
2
r
, (r ≥ R)
−
Ze
2
R
3
2
−
r
2
2R
2
. (r < R)
(a) State qualitatively how the energies of the 1s, 2s, 2p, 3s, 3p, 3d
muonic levels will be shifted absolutely and relative to each other, and
explain physically any diﬀerences in the shifts. Sketch the unperturbed
and perturbed energy level diagrams for these states.
(b) Give an expression for the ﬁrst order change in energy of the 1s
state associated with the fact that the nucleus is not pointlike.
(c) Estimate the 2s–2p energy shift under the assumption that R/a
µ
<
1, where a
µ
is the “Bohr radius” for the muon and show that this shift
gives a measure of R.
(d) When is the method of part (b) likely to fail? Does this method
underestimate or overestimate the energy shift. Explain your answer in
physical terms.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 87
Useful information:
Ψ
1s
= 2N
0
exp
−
r
a
µ
Y
00
(θ, φ) ,
Ψ
2s
=
1
√
8
N
0
2 −
r
a
µ
exp
−
r
2a
µ
Y
00
(θ, φ) ,
Ψ
2p
=
1
√
24
N
0
r
a
µ
exp
−
r
2a
µ
Y
1m
(θ, φ) ,
N
0
=
1
a
3/2
µ
.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) If nuclear charge is distributed over a ﬁnite volume, the intensity of
the electric ﬁeld at a point inside the nucleus is smaller than that at the
same point if the nucleus is a point. Consequently the energy of the same
state is higher in the former case. The probability of a 1s state electron
staying in the nucleus is larger than that in any other state, so the eﬀect
of a ﬁnite volume of the nucleus on its energy level, i.e. the energy shift, is
largest. Next come 2s, 3s, 2p, 3p, 3d, etc. The energy levels are shown in
Fig. 1.19.
Fig. 1.19
88 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) The perturbation potential due to the limited volume of nucleus has
the form
∆V =
0, (r ≥ R)
Ze
2
R
r
2
2R
2
−
3
2
+
R
r
. (r < R)
The ﬁrst order energy correction of the 1s state with the approximation
R
a
µ
<1 is
∆E
1s
=
Ψ
∗
1s
∆V Ψ
1s
dτ
=
Ze
2
R
4N
2
0
R
0
exp
−
2r
a
µ
r
2
2R
2
−
3
2
+
R
r
r
2
dr
≈
Ze
2
R
4N
2
0
R
0
r
2
2R
2
−
3
2
+
R
r
r
2
dr
=
2Ze
2
R
2
5a
3
µ
.
(c) The energy shifts for the 2s and 2p states are
∆E
2s
=
Ψ
∗
2s
∆V Ψ
2s
dτ
=
Ze
2
N
2
0
8R
R
0
2 −
r
a
µ
2
exp
−
r
a
µ
r
2
2R
2
−
3
2
+
R
r
r
2
dr
≈
Ze
2
N
2
0
8R
R
0
4
r
2
2R
2
−
3
2
+
R
r
r
2
dr
=
Ze
2
R
2
20a
3
µ
,
∆E
2p
=
Ψ
∗
2p
∆V Ψ
2p
dτ
=
Ze
2
N
2
0
24a
2
µ
R
R
0
r
2
exp
−
r
a
µ
r
2
2R
2
−
3
2
+
R
r
r
2
dr
Atomic and Molecular Physics 89
≈
Ze
2
N
2
0
24a
2
µ
R
R
0
r
2
r
2
2R
2
−
3
2
+
R
r
r
2
dr
=
3Ze
2
R
4
3360a
5
µ
<∆E
2s
.
Hence the relative shift of 2s–2p is
∆E
sp
≈ ∆E
2s
=
Ze
2
R
2
20a
3
µ
.
Thus R can be estimated from the relative shift of the energy levels.
(d) For large Z, a
µ
=
2
Zm
µ
e
2
becomes so small that
R
a
µ
≥ 1. When
R
a
µ
≥
√
5
2
, we have, using the result of (b),
∆E
1s
=
2Ze
2
R
2
5a
3
µ
=
4
5
[E
0
1s
[
R
a
µ
2
> [E
0
1s
[ ,
where
E
0
1s
= −
m
µ
Z
2
e
4
2
2
.
This means that E
1s
= E
0
1s
+ ∆E
1s
> 0, which is contradictory to the
fact that E
1s
, a bound state, is negative. Hence ∆E
1s
as given by (b) is
higher than the actual value. This is because we only included the zeroth
order term in the expansion of exp(−
2r
a
µ
). Inclusion of higher order terms
would result in more realistic values.
1063
Consider the situation which arises when a negative muon is captured
by an aluminum atom (atomic number Z = 13). After the muon gets
inside the “electron cloud” it forms a hydrogenlike muonic atom with the
aluminum nucleus. The mass of the muon is 105.7 MeV.
(a) Compute the wavelength (in
˚
A) of the photon emitted when this
muonic atom decays from the 3d state. (Sliderule accuracy; neglect nuclear
motion).
90 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) Compute the mean life of the above muonic atom in the 3d state,
taking into account the fact that the mean life of a hydrogen atom in the
3d state is 1.6 10
−8
sec.
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
There are two energy levels in each of the 3d, 3p, 2p states, namely
3
2
D
5/2
and 3
2
D
3/2
, 3
2
P
3/2
and 3
2
P
1/2
, 2
2
P
3/2
and 2
2
P
1/2
, respectively.
There is one energy level each, 3
2
S
1/2
, 2
2
S
1/2
and 1
2
S
1/2
, in the 3s, 2s and
1s states respectively.
The possible transitions are:
3
2
D
5/2
→3
2
P
3/2
, 3
2
D
5/2
→2
2
P
3/2
, 3
2
D
3/2
→3
2
P
1/2
,
3
2
D
3/2
→2
2
P
3/2
, 3
2
D
3/2
→2
2
P
1/2
,
3
2
P
3/2
→3
2
S
1/2
, 3
2
P
3/2
→2
2
S
1/2
, 3
2
P
3/2
→1
2
S
1/2
,
3
2
P
1/2
→2
2
S
1/2
, 3
2
P
1/2
→1
2
S
1/2
,
3
2
S
1/2
→2
2
P
3/2
, 3
2
S
1/2
→2
2
P
1/2
, 2
2
P
3/2
→2
2
S
1/2
,
2
2
P
3/2
→1
2
S
1/2
, 2
2
P
1/2
→1
2
S
1/2
.
(a) The hydrogenlike mesic atom has energy
E = E
0
1
n
2
+
α
2
Z
2
n
3
¸
¸
1
j +
1
2
−
3
4n
¸
¸
¸
¸
,
where
E
0
= −
2π
2
m
µ
e
4
Z
2
(4πε
0
)
2
h
2
= −13.6
105.7
0.511
13
2
= −4.754 10
5
eV,
α =
1
137
. Thus
∆E(3
2
D
5/2
→3
2
P
3/2
) = 26.42 eV,
∆E(3
2
D
5/2
→2
2
P
3/2
) = 6.608 10
4
eV,
∆E(3
2
D
3/2
→3
2
P
1/2
) = 79.27 eV,
∆E(3
2
D
3/2
→2
2
P
3/2
) = 6.596 10
4
eV,
∆E(3
2
D
3/2
→2
2
P
1/2
) = 6.632 10
4
eV,
Atomic and Molecular Physics 91
∆E(3
2
P
3/2
→3
2
S
1/2
) = 79.27 eV,
∆E(3
2
P
3/2
→2
2
S
1/2
) = 6.632 10
4
eV,
∆E(3
2
P
3/2
→1
2
S
1/2
) = 4.236 10
5
eV,
∆E(3
2
P
1/2
→2
2
S
1/2
) = 6.624 10
4
eV,
∆E(3
2
P
1/2
→1
2
S
1/2
) = 4.235 10
5
eV,
∆E(3
2
S
1/2
→2
2
P
3/2
) = 6.598 10
5
eV,
∆E(3
2
S
1/2
→2
2
P
1/2
) = 6.624 10
4
eV,
∆E(2
2
P
3/2
→2
2
S
1/2
) = 267.5 eV,
∆E(2
2
P
3/2
→1
2
S
1/2
) = 3.576 10
5
eV,
∆E(2
2
P
1/2
→1
2
S
1/2
) = 3.573 10
5
eV.
Using the relation λ =
hc
∆E
=
12430
∆E(eV)
˚
A, we obtain the wavelengths of
the photons emitted in the decays of the 3d state: λ = 470
˚
A, 0.188
˚
A,
0.157
˚
A, 0.188
˚
A, 0.187
˚
A in the above order.
(b) The probability of a spontaneous transition is
P ∝
e
2
ω
3
c
3
R
2
with
ω ∝
m
µ
(Ze
2
)
2
3
, R ∝
2
m
µ
Ze
2
.
Thus
P ∝ m
µ
(Ze
2
)
4
.
As the mean life of the initial state is
τ =
1
P
,
the mean life of the 3d state of the µ mesic atom is
τ =
m
e
τ
0
m
µ
Z
4
= 2.7 10
−15
s .
where τ
0
= 1.6 10
−8
s is the mean life of a 3d state hydrogen atom.
92 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1064
One method of measuring the charge radii of nuclei is to study the
characteristic Xrays from exotic atoms.
(a) Calculate the energy levels of a µ
−
in the ﬁeld of a nucleus of charge
Ze assuming a point nucleus.
(b) Now assume the µ
−
is completely inside a nucleus. Calculate the
energy levels assuming the nucleus is a uniform charge sphere of charge Ze
and radius ρ.
(c) Estimate the energy of the K Xray from muonic
208
Pb
82
using the
approximations in (a) or (b). Discuss the validity of these approximations.
NOTE: m
µ
= 200m
e
.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The energy levels of µ
−
in the ﬁeld of a point nucleus with charge
Ze are given by (Problem 1035)
E
n
= Z
2
m
µ
m
e
E
n
(H) = −Z
2
200
13.6
n
2
= −
2.72 10
3
n
2
Z
2
eV,
where E
n
(H) is the corresponding energy level of a hydrogen atom.
(b) The potential for µ
−
moving in a uniform electric charge sphere of
radius ρ is (Problem 1050(a))
V (r) = −
Ze
2
ρ
3
2
−
r
2
2ρ
2
= −
3Ze
2
2ρ
+
1
2
Ze
2
ρ
3
r
2
.
The dependence of the potential on r suggests that the µ
−
may be
treated as an isotropic harmonic oscillator of eigenfrequency ω =
Ze
2
m
µ
ρ
3
.
The energy levels are therefore
E
n
= ω
n +
3
2
−
3Ze
2
2ρ
,
where n = 0, 1, 2, . . . , ρ ≈ 1.2 10
−13
A
1/3
cm.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 93
(c) K Xrays are emitted in the transitions of electron energy levels
n ≥ 2 to the n = 1 level.
The pointnucleus model (a) gives the energy of the Xrays as
∆E = E
2
−E
1
= −2.72 10
3
82
2
1
2
2
−1
= 1.37 10
7
eV.
The harmonic oscillator model (b) gives the energy of the Xrays as
∆E =E
2
−E
1
= ω =
c
ρ
Z
r
0
ρ
m
e
m
µ
=
6.58 10
−16
3 10
10
1.2 10
−13
82 2.82 10
−13
208 200 1.2 10
−13
= 1.12 10
7
eV,
where r
0
=
e
2
m
e
c
2
= 2.82 10
−13
cm is the classical radius of electron.
Discussion: As µ
−
is much heavier than electron, it has a larger proba
bility of staying inside the nucleus (ﬁrst Bohr radius a
0
∝
1
m
), which makes
the eﬀective nuclear charge Z
∗
< Z. Thus we may conclude that the energy
of K Xrays as given by the pointnucleus model is too high. On the other
hand, as the µ
−
does have a ﬁnite probability of being outside the nucleus,
the energy of the K Xrays as given by the harmonic oscillator model would
be lower than the true value. As the probability of the µ
−
being outside
the nucleus decreases faster than any increase of Z, the harmonic oscillator
model is closer to reality as compared to the pointnuclear model.
1065
A proposal has been made to study the properties of an atom composed
of a π
+
(m
π
+ = 273.2 m
e
) and a µ
−
(m
µ
− = 206.77 m
e
) in order to measure
the charge radius of π
+
assuming that its charge is spread uniformly on a
spherical shell of radius r
0
= 10
−13
cm and that the µ
−
is a point charge.
Express the potential as a Coulomb potential for a point charge plus a
perturbation and use perturbation theory to calculate a numerical value
for the percentage shift in the 1s–2p energy diﬀerence ∆ (neglect spin orbit
eﬀects and Lamb shift). Given
a
0
=
2
me
2
,
94 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
R
10
(r) =
1
a
0
3/2
2 exp
−
r
a
0
,
R
21
(r) =
1
2a
0
3/2
r
a
0
exp
−
r
a
0
1
√
3
.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The potential function is
V (r) =
−e
2
/r, (r > r
0
)
−e
2
/r
0
. (r < r
0
)
The Hamiltonian can be written as H = H
0
+ H
, where H
0
is the
Hamiltonian if π
+
is treated as a point charge, H
is taken as perturbation,
being
H
=
0, (r > r
0
)
e
2
1
r
−
1
r
0
. (r < r
0
)
The shift of 1s level caused by H
, to ﬁrst order approximation, is
∆E
1s
=
Ψ
∗
1s
H
Ψ
1s
dτ =
r
0
0
R
2
10
(r)e
2
1
r
−
1
r
0
r
2
dr ≈
2e
2
r
2
0
3a
3
0
,
assuming r
0
<a
0
. The shift of 2p level is
∆E
2p
=
Ψ
∗
2p
H
Ψ
2p
dτ =
r
0
0
R
2
21
(r)e
2
1
r
−
1
r
0
r
2
dr
≈
e
2
r
4
0
480a
5
0
<∆E
1s
,
using the same approximation. Thus
∆E
1s
−∆E
2p
≈ ∆E
1s
=
2e
2
r
2
0
3a
3
0
.
Without considering the perturbation, the energy diﬀerence of 1s–2p is
∆ = −
me
4
2
2
1
2
2
−1
=
3me
4
8
2
=
3e
2
8a
0
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 95
Hence
∆E
1s
−∆E
2p
∆
≈
16
9
r
0
a
0
2
.
As
m =
m
µ
−m
π
+
m
µ
− +m
π
+
= 117.7m
e
,
we have
a
0
=
2
me
2
=
2
m
e
e
2
m
e
m
=
0.53 10
−8
117.7
= 4.5 10
−11
cm,
and hence
∆E
1s
−∆E
2p
∆
=
16
9
10
−3
4.5 10
−11
2
= 8.8 10
−6
.
1066
A µ
−
meson (a heavy electron of mass M = 210m
e
with m
e
the electron
mass) is captured into a circular orbit around a proton. Its initial radius
R ≈ the Bohr radius of an electron around a proton. Estimate how long (in
terms of R, M and m
e
) it will take the µ
−
meson to radiate away enough
energy to reach its ground state. Use classical arguments, including the
expression for the power radiated by a nonrelativistic accelerating charged
particle.
(CUSPEA)
Solution:
The energy of the µ
−
is
E(r) = K(r) −
e
2
r
= −
e
2
2r
,
where K(r) is the kinetic energy.
The radiated power is P =
2e
2
a
2
3c
3
, where
a =
F
Coul
M
=
e
2
r
2
M
is the centripetal acceleration. Energy conservation requires
96 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
dE
dt
= −P ,
i.e.,
e
2
2r
2
dr
dt
= −
2e
2
3c
3
e
4
r
4
M
2
.
Integration gives
R
3
−r
3
=
4
c
3
e
4
M
2
t ,
where R is the radius of the initial orbit of the µ mesion, being
R ≈
2
me
2
.
At the µ ground state the radius of its orbit is the Bohr radius of the mesic
atom
r
0
=
2
Me
2
,
and the time t taken for the µ meson to spiral down to this state is given by
2
e
2
3
1
m
3
−
1
M
3
=
4e
4
c
3
M
2
t .
Since M m, we have
t ≈
M
2
c
3
R
3
4e
4
=
M
m
2
mc
2
e
2
2
R
3
4c
= 210
2
5.3 10
−9
2.82 10
−13
2
5.3 10
−9
4 3 10
10
= 6.9 10
−7
s .
1067
Consider a hypothetical universe in which the electron has spin 3/2
rather than spin 1/2.
(a) Draw an energy level diagram for the n = 3 states of hydrogen in
the absence of an external magnetic ﬁeld. Label each state in spectroscopic
notation and indicate which states have the same energy. Ignore hyperﬁne
structure (interaction with the nuclear spin).
Atomic and Molecular Physics 97
(b) Discuss qualitatively the energy levels of the twoelectron helium
atom, emphasizing the diﬀerences from helium containing spin 1/2 elec
trons.
(c) At what values of the atomic number would the ﬁrst two inert gases
occur in this universe?
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) Consider a hydrogen atom having electron of spin 3/2. For n = 3,
the possible quantum numbers are given in Table 1.1.
Table 1.1
n l j
0 3/2
3 1 5/2, 3/2, 1/2
2 7/2, 5/2, 3/2, 1/2
If ﬁne structure is ignored, these states are degenerate with energy
E
n
= −
RhcZ
2
n
2
where Z = 1, n = 3, R is the Rydberg constant, c is the speed of light.
If the relativistic eﬀect and spinorbit interactions are taken into ac
count, the energy changes into E = E
0
+ ∆E and degeneracy disappears,
i.e., diﬀerent states have diﬀerent energies.
(1) For l = 0 and j = 3/2, there is only the correction ∆E
r
arising from
the relativistic eﬀect, i.e.,
∆E = ∆E
r
= −A
¸
¸
1
l +
1
2
−
3
4n
¸
= −
7
4
A,
where A = Rhcα
2
Z
4
/n
3
, α being the ﬁne structure constant.
(2) For l = 0, in addition to ∆E
r
there is also the spinorbital coupling
correction ∆E
ls
, so that
∆E = ∆E
r
+ ∆E
ls
= −A
¸
¸
1
l +
1
2
−
3
4n
¸
98 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
+A
1
l
l +
1
2
(l + 1)
j(j + 1) −l(l + 1) −s(s + 1)
2
.
(i) For l = 1,
∆E =
¸
1
6
j(j + 1) −
11
8
A,
Thus for
j =
5
2
, ∆E =
1
12
A,
j =
3
2
, ∆E = −
3
4
A,
j =
1
2
, ∆E = −
5
4
A.
(ii) For l = 2,
∆E =
¸
1
30
j(j + 1) −
19
40
A,
Thus for
j =
7
2
, ∆E =
1
20
A,
j =
5
2
, ∆E = −
11
60
A,
j =
3
2
, ∆E = −
7
20
A.
j =
1
2
, ∆E = −
9
20
A.
The energy level scheme for n = 3 of the hydrogen atom is shown in
Fig. 1.20.
(b) Table 1.2 shows the singleelectron energy levels of the helium atoms
(electron spins 1/2 and 3/2).
Atomic and Molecular Physics 99
Fig. 1.20
Table 1.2
He (s = 3/2) He (s = 1/2)
n
1
= 1 Total electron spin S = 0, 2 S = 0
n
2
= 1
l = 0 energy level
1
S
0
,
5
S
2
1
S
0
n
1
= 1 Total electron spin S = 0, 1, 2, 3 S = 0, 1
n
2
= 2
l
2
= 0, 1 energy level l
2
= 0 :
1
S
0
,
3
S
1
,
5
S
2
,
7
S
3
l
2
= 0:
1
S
0
,
3
S
1
l
2
= 1:
1
P
1
,
3
P
2,1,0
,
5
P
3,2,1
l
2
= 1:
1
P
1
,
3
P
2,1,0
7
P
4,3,2
(c) If the electron spin were 3/2, the atomic numbers Z of the ﬁrst two
inert elements would be 4 and 20.
1068
Figure 1.21 shows the ground state and ﬁrst four excited states of the
helium atom.
(a) Indicate on the ﬁgure the complete spectroscopic notation of each
level.
100 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.21
(b) Indicate, with arrows on the ﬁgure, the allowed radiative dipole
transitions.
(c) Give a qualitative reason why level B is lower in energy than level C.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The levels in Fig. 1.21 are as follows:
A: 1
1
S
0
, constituted by 1s
2
,
B: 2
1
S
0
, constituted by 1s2s,
C: 2
1
P
1
, constituted by 1s2p,
D: 2
3
S
1
, constituted by 1s2s,
E: 2
3
P
2,1,0
, constituted by 1s2p.
(b) The allowed radiative dipole transitions are as shown in Fig. 1.22.
(Selection rules ∆L = ±1, ∆S = 0)
(c) In the C state constituted by 1s2p, one of the electrons is excited to
the 2p orbit, which has a higher energy than that of 2s. The main reason
is that the eﬀect of the screening of the nuclear charge is larger for the p
orbit.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 101
Fig. 1.22
1069
Figure 1.23 shows the ground state and the set of n = 2 excited states
of the helium atom. Reproduce the diagram in your answer giving
(a) the spectroscopic notation for all 5 levels,
(b) an explanation of the source of ∆E
1
,
(c) an explanation of the source of ∆E
2
,
(d) indicate the allowed optical transitions among these ﬁve levels.
(Wisconsin)
Fig. 1.23
102 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
(a) See Problem 1068(a).
(b) ∆E
1
is the diﬀerence in energy between diﬀerent electronic conﬁg
urations with the same S. The
3
P states belong to the conﬁguration of
1s2p, which has one electron in the 1s orbit and the other in the 2p orbit.
The latter has a higher energy because the screening of the nuclear charge
is greater for the p electron.
(c) ∆E
2
is the energy diﬀerence between levels of the same L in the
same electronic conﬁguration but with diﬀerent S. Its origin lies in the
Coulomb exchange energy.
(d) See Problem 1068(b).
1070
Figure 1.24 is an energy level diagram for the ground state and ﬁrst four
excited states of a helium atom.
(a) On a copy of the ﬁgure, give the complete spectroscopic notation for
each level.
(b) List the possible electricdipole allowed transitions.
Fig. 1.24
Atomic and Molecular Physics 103
(c) List the transitions between those levels that would be possible for
an allowed 2photon process (both photons electric dipole).
(d) Given electrons of suﬃcient energy, which levels could be populated
as the result of electrons colliding with ground state atoms?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) (b) See problem 1068.
(c) The selection rule for a 2photon process are
(1) conservation of parity,
(2) ∆J = 0, ±2.
Accordingly the possible 2photon process is
(1s2s)
1
S
0
→(1s
2
)
1
S
0
.
The transition (1s2s)
3
S to (1s
2
)
1
S
0
is also possible via the 2photon
process with a rate 10
−8
∼ 10
−9
s
−1
. It has however been pointed out
that the transition 2
3
S
1
→ 1
1
S
0
could proceed with a rate ∼ 10
−4
s via
magnetic dipole radiation, attributable to some relativistic correction of
the magnetic dipole operator relating to spin, which need not satisfy the
condition ∆S = 0.
(d) The (1s2s)
1
S
0
and (1s2s)
3
S
1
states are metastable. So, besides the
ground state, these two levels could be populated by many electrons due to
electrons colliding with ground state atoms.
1071
Sketch the lowlying energy levels of atomic He. Indicate the atomic
conﬁguration and give the spectroscopic notation for these levels. Indicate
several transitions that are allowed in emission, several transitions that are
allowed in absorption, and several forbidden transitions.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The energy levels of He are shown in Fig. 1.25.
According to the selection rules ∆S = 0, ∆L = ±1, ∆J = 0, ±1 (except
0 →0), the allowed transitions are: 3
1
S
0
→2
1
P
1
, 3
3
S
1
→2
3
P
2,1,0
, 2
1
P
1
→
1
1
S
0
, 2
1
P
1
→ 2
1
S
0
, 3
3
D
1
→ 3
3
P
0
, 3
3
D
2,1
→ 3
3
P
1
, 3
3
D
3,2,1
→ 3
3
P
2
,
104 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.25
3
1
D
2
→3
1
P
1
, 3
1
D
2
→2
1
P
1
, 3
3
D
1
→2
3
P
1,0
, 3
3
D
3,2,1
→ 2
3
P
2
, 3
3
P
2,1,0
→
2
3
S
1
. The reverse of the above are the allowed absorption transitions.
Transitions between singlet and triplet states (∆S = 0) are forbidden,
e.g. 2
3
S
1
→1
1
S
0
, 2
1
P
1
→2
3
S
1
.
1072
Sketch the energy level diagram for a helium atom in the 1s3d conﬁgu
ration, taking into account Coulomb interaction and spinorbit coupling.
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
See Problem 1100.
1073
For helium atom the only states of spectroscopic interest are those for
which at least one electron is in the ground state. It can be constructed
from orthonormal orbits of the form
Atomic and Molecular Physics 105
Ψ
±
(1, 2) =
1
√
2
[Φ
1s
(1)Φ
nlm
(2) ±Φ
nlm
(1)Φ
1s
(2)] spin wave function .
The parastates correspond to the + sign and the orthostates to the
− sign.
(a) Determine for which state the ortho or the corresponding parastate
has the lowest energy. (i.e. most negative).
(b) Present an argument showing for large n that the energy diﬀerence
between corresponding ortho and parastates should become small.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
(a) For fermions like electrons the total wave function of a system must
be antisymmetric.
If both electrons of a helium atom are in 1s orbit, Pauli’s principle
requires that their spins be antiparallel, i.e. the total spin function be an
tisymmetric. Then the spatial wave function must be symmetric and the
state is the parastate 1
1
S
0
.
If only one electron is in 1s orbit, and the other is in the nlmstate,
where n = 1, their spins may be either parallel or antiparallel and the
spatial wave functions are, respectively,
Ψ
∓
=
1
√
2
[Φ
1s
(1)Φ
nlm
(2) ∓Φ
nlm
(1)Φ
1s
(2)] .
Ignoring magnetic interactions, consider only the Coulomb repulsion be
tween the electrons and take as perturbation H
= e
2
/r
12
, r
12
being the
distance between the electrons. The energy correction is then
W
∓
=
1
2
[Φ
∗
1s
(1)Φ
∗
nlm
(2) ∓Φ
∗
nlm
(1)Φ
∗
1s
(2)]
e
2
r
12
[Φ
1s
(1)Φ
nlm
(2) ∓Φ
nlm
(1)Φ
1s
(2)]dτ
1
dτ
2
=J ∓K
with
J =
e
2
r
12
[Φ
1s
(1)Φ
nlm
(2)[
2
dτ
1
dτ
2
,
K =
e
2
r
12
Φ
∗
1s
(1)Φ
nlm
(1)Φ
∗
nlm
(2)Φ
1s
(2)dτ
1
dτ
2
.
106 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Hence the orthostate (− sign above) has lower corrected energy. Thus
parahelium has ground state 1
1
S
0
and orthohelium has ground state 2
3
S
1
,
which is lower in energy than the 2
1
S
0
state of parahelium (see Fig. 1.25).
(b) As n increases the mean distance r
12
between the electrons increases
also. This means that the energy diﬀerence 2K between the para and
orthostates of the same electron conﬁguration decreases as n increases.
1074
(a) Draw and qualitatively explain the energy level diagram for the
n = 1 and n = 2 levels of helium in the nonrelativistic approximation.
(b) Draw and discuss a similar diagram for hydrogen, including all the
energy splitting that are actually present.
(CUSPEA)
Solution:
(a) In the lowest energy level (n = 1) of helium, both electrons are in the
lowest state 1s. Pauli’s principle requires the electrons to have antiparallel
spins, so that the n = 1 level is a singlet. On account of the repulsion
energy between the electrons, e
2
/r
12
, the ground state energy is higher
than 2Z
2
E
0
= 8E
0
, where E
0
= −
me
4
2
2
= −13.6 eV is the ground state
energy of hydrogen atom.
In the n = 2 level, one electron is in 1s state while the other is in
a higher state. The two electrons can have antiparallel or parallel spins
(singlet or triplet states). As the probability for the electrons to come
near each other is larger in the former case, its Coulomb repulsion energy
between the electrons, e
2
/r
12
, is also larger. Hence in general a singlet state
has higher energy than the corresponding triplet state (Fig. 1.26).
(b) The energy levels of hydrogen atom for n = 1 and n = 2 are shown
in Fig. 1.27. If one considers only the Coulomb interaction between the
nucleus and electron, the (Bohr) energy levels are given by
E
n
= −
m
e
e
4
2
2
n
2
,
which is a function of n only. If the relativistic eﬀect and the spinorbit
interaction of the electron are taken into account, the n = 2 level splits into
two levels with a spacing ≈ α
2
E
2
, where α is the ﬁne structure constant.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 107
Fig. 1.26
Fig. 1.27
If one considers, further, the interaction between the electron and its own
magnetic ﬁeld and vacuum polarization, Lamb shift results splitting the
degenerate 2S
1/2
and 2P
1/2
states, the splitting being of the order m
e
c
2
α
5
.
In addition, the levels split further on account of the interactions be
tween the spin and orbital motions of the electron and the nuclear magnetic
moment, giving rise to a hyperﬁne structure with spacing about 1/10 of the
Lamb shift for the same n.
108 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1075
(a) The 1s2s conﬁguration of the helium atom has two terms
3
S
1
and
1
S
0
which lie about 20 eV above the ground state. Explain the meaning of
the spectroscopic notation. Also give the reason for the energy splitting of
the two terms and estimate the order of magnitude of the splitting.
(b) List the groundstate conﬁgurations and the lowestenergy terms of
the following atoms: He, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F and A.
Possible useful numbers:
a
B
= 0.52910
−8
cm, µ
B
= 9.2710
−21
erg/gauss, e = 4.810
−10
esu.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The spectroscopic notation indicates the state of an atom. For
example in
3
S
1
, the superscript 3 indicates the state is a triplet (3 = 2S+1),
the subscript 1 is the total angular momentum quantum number of the
atom, J = S + L = 1, S labels the quantum state corresponding to the
orbital angular momentum quantum number L = 0 (S for L = 0, P for
L = 1, D for L = 2, etc.).
The split in energy of the states
1
S
0
and
3
S
1
arises from the diﬀerence in
the Coulomb interaction energy between the electrons due to their diﬀerent
spin states. In the 1s2s conﬁguration, the electrons can have antiparallel
or parallel spins, giving rise to singlet and triplet states of helium, the
approximate energy of which can be obtained by perturbation calculations
to be (Problem 1073)
E(singlet) = −
Z
2
e
2
2a
0
1 +
1
2
2
+J + K ,
E(triplet) = −
Z
2
e
2
2a
0
1 +
1
2
2
+J −K ,
where J is the average Coulomb energy between the electron clouds, K is
the exchange energy. The splitting is
∆E = 2K
with
Atomic and Molecular Physics 109
K = e
2
d
3
x
1
d
3
x
2
1
r
12
Ψ
∗
100
(r
1
)Ψ
200
(r
1
)Ψ
100
(r
2
)Ψ
∗
200
(r
2
)
=
4Z
6
e
2
a
6
0
¸
∞
0
r
2
1
1 −
Zr
1
2a
0
exp
−
3Zr
1
2a
0
dr
1
2
≈
2
4
Ze
2
3
6
a
0
.
Thus
K =
2
5
e
2
3
6
a
0
=
2
5
3
6
me
4
2
=
2
5
3
6
e
2
c
2
mc
2
=
2
5
3
6
1
137
2
0.511 10
6
= 1.2 eV,
and ∆E ≈ 2 eV.
(b)
Atom Ground state conﬁguration Lowestenergy spectral term
He 1s
2 1
S
0
Li 1s
2
2s
1 2
S
1/2
Be 1s
2
2s
2 1
S
0
B 1s
2
2s
2
2p
1 2
P
1/2
C 1s
2
2s
2
2p
2 3
P
0
N 1s
2
2s
2
2p
3 4
S
3/2
O 1s
2
2s
2
2p
4 3
P
2
F 1s
2
2s
2
2p
5 2
P
3/2
A 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
6 1
S
0
1076
Use a variational method, a perturbation method, sum rules, and/or
other method to obtain crude estimates of the following properties of the
helium atom:
(a) the minimum energy required to remove both electrons from the
atom in its ground state,
110 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) the minimum energy required to remove one electron from the atom
in its lowest F state (L = 3), and
(c) the electric polarizability of the atom in its ground state. (The
lowest singlet P state lies ∼ 21 eV above the ground state.)
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) In the perturbation method, the Hamiltonian of helium atom is writ
ten as
H =
p
2
1
2m
e
+
p
2
2
2m
e
−
2e
2
r
1
−
2e
2
r
2
+
e
2
r
12
= H
0
+
e
2
r
12
,
where
H
0
=
p
2
1
2m
e
+
p
2
2
2m
e
−
2e
2
r
1
−
2e
2
r
2
is considered the unperturbed Hamiltonian, and the potential due to the
Coulomb repulsion between the electrons as perturbation. The zeroorder
approximate wave function is then
ψ = ψ
100
(r
1
)ψ
100
(r
2
) ,
where
ψ
100
(r) =
1
√
π
2
a
3/2
e
−2r/a
,
a being the Bohr radius. The zeroorder (unperturbed) ground state en
ergy is
E
(0)
= 2
−
2
2
e
2
2a
= −
4e
2
a
,
where the factor 2 is for the two 1s electrons. The energy correction in ﬁrst
order perturbation is
E
(1)
=
[ψ
100
[
2
e
2
r
12
dr
1
dr
2
=
5e
2
4a
.
Hence the corrected ground state energy is
E = −
4e
2
a
+
5e
2
4a
= −
11
2
e
2
2a
= −
11
2
13.6 = −74.8 eV,
Atomic and Molecular Physics 111
and the ionization energy of ground state helium atom, i.e. the energy
required to remove both electrons from the atom, is
E
I
= −E = 74.8 eV.
In the variational method, take as the trial wave function
ψ =
λ
3
πa
3
e
−λ(r
1
+r
2
)/a
.
We then calculate
'H` =
ψ
∗
−
2
2m
e
∇
2
1
−
2
2m
e
∇
2
2
−
2e
2
r
1
−
2e
2
r
2
+
e
2
r
12
ψdr
1
dr
2
=
2λ
2
−
27
4
λ
E
H
,
where
E
H
=
e
2
2a
= 13.6 eV.
Minimizing 'H` by taking
∂'H`
∂λ
= 0 ,
we ﬁnd λ =
27
16
and so
'H` =
27
16
27
8
−
27
4
E
H
= −77.5 eV.
The ionization energy is therefore E
I
= −'H` = 77.5 eV, in fairly good
agreement with the perturbation calculation.
(b) In the lowest F state the electron in the l = 3 orbit is so far from
the nucleus that the latter together with the 1s electron can be treated as a
core of charge +e. Thus the excited atom can be considered as a hydrogen
atom in the state n = 4. The ionizaion energy E
I
, i.e. the energy required
to remove one electron from the atom, is
E
I
= −E =
Ze
2
2a4
2
=
1
16
e
2
2a
=
13.6
16
= 0.85 eV.
112 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(c) Consider a perturbation u. The wave function and energy for the
ground state, correct to ﬁrst order, are
Ψ = Ψ
0
+
¸
n=0
u
n0
E
0
−E
n
Ψ
n
, E = E
0
+u
00
+
¸
n=0
(u
n0
)
2
E
0
−E
n
,
where Ψ
0
, E
n
are the unperturbed wave function and energy, and u
n0
≡
'0[u[n`. Write
¸
n=0
u
n0
Ψ
n
=
¸
n=0
u
n0
ψ
n
−u
00
ψ
0
= uψ
0
−u
00
ψ
0
,
with uψ
0
=
¸
n=0
u
n0
ψ
n
. Then
Ψ ≈ Ψ
0
1 +
u −u
00
E
,
E
being the average of E
0
−E
n
.
The average total kinetic energy of the electrons is calculated using a
variational method with ψ = (1 +λu)ψ
0
as trial function:
'T` =
Ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)
ˆ
TΨ
0
(1 +λu)dr
Ψ
∗
0
Ψ
0
(1 +λu)
2
dr
,
where
ˆ
T =
1
2m
e
(p
2
1
+p
2
2
) = −
2
2m
e
(∇
2
1
+∇
2
2
) ,
or, in atomic units (a
0
= = e = 1),
ˆ
T = −
1
2
2
¸
i=1
∇
2
i
.
Thus
ˆ
T ∝−
1
2
2
¸
i=1
1
2
¦Ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)∇
2
i
(1 + λu)Ψ
0
+ Ψ
0
(1 +λu)
∇
2
i
(1 +λu)Ψ
∗
0
¦dr
=−
1
2
2
¸
i=1
1
2
¦Ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)
2
∇
2
i
Ψ
0
+ Ψ
0
(1 +λu)
2
∇
2
i
Ψ
∗
0
+ 2λΨ
0
Ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)∇
2
i
u + 2λ(1 +λu)∇
i
(Ψ
0
Ψ
∗
0
) ∇
i
u¦dr .
Atomic and Molecular Physics 113
Consider
¸
i
∇
i
[ψ
0
ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)∇
i
u]dr =
S
ψ
0
ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)
¸
i
∇
i
u dS = 0
by virtue of Gauss’ divergence theorem and the fact that −∇
i
u represents
the mutual repulsion force between the electrons. As
∇
i
[Ψ
0
Ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)∇
i
u] =Ψ
0
Ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)∇
2
i
u + (1 +λu)∇
i
(Ψ
0
Ψ
∗
0
) ∇
i
u
+ λΨ
0
Ψ
∗
0
∇
i
u ∇
i
u ,
we can write
¦Ψ
0
Ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)∇
2
i
u + (1 +λu)∇
i
(Ψ
0
Ψ
∗
0
) ∇
i
u¦dr
= −λ
Ψ
0
Ψ
∗
0
∇
i
u ∇
i
udr .
Hence
'T` ∝−
1
2
2
¸
i=1
1
2
[Ψ
∗
0
(1 +λu)
2
∇
2
i
Ψ
0
+ Ψ
0
(1 +λu)
2
∇
2
i
Ψ
∗
0
]dr
+
λ
2
2
2
¸
i=1
Ψ
0
Ψ
∗
0
∇
i
u ∇
i
udr .
The total energy E can be similarly obtained by considering the total
Hamiltonian
ˆ
H =
ˆ
H
0
+
ˆ
T +u .
As
ˆ
H and (1 +λu) commute, we have
'H` =
1
2
(1 + λu)
2
(Ψ
∗
0
ˆ
HΨ
0
+ Ψ
0
ˆ
HΨ
∗
0
)dr +
λ
2
2
2
¸
i=1
Ψ
∗
0
Ψ
0
∇
i
u ∇
i
udr
Ψ
∗
0
Ψ
0
(1 +λu)
2
dr
= E
0
+
1
2
Ψ
∗
0
u(1 +λu)
2
Ψ
0
dr +
λ
2
2
2
¸
i=1
Ψ
∗
0
Ψ
0
∇
i
u ∇
i
udr
Ψ
∗
0
Ψ
0
(1 +λu)
2
dr
114 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
= E
0
+
(u)
00
+ 2λ(u
2
)
00
+ λ
2
(u
3
)
00
+
1
2
λ
2
2
¸
i=1
[∇
i
u ∇
i
u]
00
dr
1 + 2λ(u)
00
+λ
2
(u
2
)
00
,
where E
0
is given by
ˆ
Hψ
0
= E
0
ψ
0
, (u)
00
=
Ψ
∗
0
uΨ
0
dr, (u
2
)
00
=
Ψ
∗
0
u
2
Ψ
0
dr, etc. Neglecting the third and higher order terms, we have the energy
correction
∆E ≈ (u)
00
+ 2λ(u
2
)
00
−2λ(u)
2
00
+
1
2
λ
2
2
¸
i=1
[(∇
i
u) (∇
i
u)]
00
.
Minimizing ∆E by putting
d∆E
dλ
= 0 ,
we obtain
2(u
2
)
00
−2(u)
2
00
+λ
2
¸
i=1
[(∇
i
u) (∇
i
u)]
00
= 0 ,
or
λ =
2[(u)
2
00
−(u
2
)
00
]
2
¸
i=1
[∇
i
u ∇
i
u]
00
.
This gives
∆E = (u)
00
−
2[(u)
2
00
−(u
2
)
00
]
2
2
¸
i=1
[∇
i
u ∇
i
u]
00
.
Consider a He atom in an electric ﬁeld of strength ε whose direction is
taken to be that of the zaxis. Then
u = −ε(z
1
+z
2
) ≡ −εz .
As the matrix element (u)
00
is zero for a spherically symmetric atom, we
have
∆E ≈ −
2[(z
2
)
00
]
2
ε
4
2ε
2
= −[(z
2
)
00
]
2
ε
2
.
The energy correction is related to the electric ﬁeld by
∆E = −
1
2
αε
2
,
where α is the polarizability. Hence
Atomic and Molecular Physics 115
α = 2[(z
2
)
00
]
2
= 2'(z
1
+z
2
)
2
`
2
.
As 'z
2
1
` = 'z
2
2
` ≈ a
2
=
a
2
0
Z
2
, 'z
1
z
2
` = 0, where a
0
is the Bohr radius,
using Z = 2 for He we have
α =
8
2
e
2
m
e
a
4
0
2
4
≈
1
2
a
3
0
in usual units. If the optimized Z =
27
16
from (a) is used,
α = 8
16
27
4
a
3
0
= 0.98a
3
0
.
1077
Answer each of the following questions with a brief, and, where possible,
quantitative statement. Give your reasoning.
(a) A beam of neutral atoms passes through a SternGerlach appara
tus. Five equally spaced lines are observed. What is the total angular
momentum of the atom?
(b) What is the magnetic moment of an atom in the state
3
P
0
? (Disre
gard nuclear eﬀects)
(c) Why are noble gases chemically inert?
(d) Estimate the energy density of black body radiation in this room in
erg/cm
3
. Assume the walls are black.
(e) In a hydrogen gas discharge both the spectral lines corresponding
to the transitions 2
2
P
1/2
→ 1
2
S
1/2
and 2
2
P
3/2
→ 1
2
S
1/2
are observed.
Estimate the ratio of their intensities.
(f) What is the cause for the existence of two independent termlevel
schemes, the singlet and the triplet systems, in atomic helium?
(Chicago)
Solution:
(a) The total angular momentum of an atom is
P
J
=
J(J + 1) .
116 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
As the neutralatom beam splits into ﬁve lines, we have 2J + 1 = 5, or
J = 2. Hence
P
J
=
√
6 .
(b) The state has total angular momentum quantum number J = 0.
Hence its magnetic moment is M = gµ
B
J(J + 1) = 0.
(c) The electrons of a noble gas all lie in completed shells, which cannot
accept electrons from other atoms to form chemical bonds. Hence noble
gases are chemically inert.
(d) The energy density of black body radiation is u = 4J
u
/c, where J
u
is the radiation ﬂux density given by the StefanBoltzmann’s law
J
u
= σT
4
,
σ = 5.669 10
−5
erg cm
−2
K
−4
s
−1
.
At room temperature, T = 300 K, and
u =
4
3 10
10
5.669 10
−5
300
4
= 6.12 10
−5
erg cm
−3
.
(e) The degeneracies of 2
2
P
1/2
and 2
2
P
3/2
are 2 and 4 respectively, while
the energy diﬀerences between each of them and 1
2
S
1/2
are approximately
equal. Hence the ratio of the intensities of the spectral lines (2
2
P
1/2
→
1
2
S
1/2
) to (2
2
P
3/2
→1
2
S
1/2
) is 1:2.
(f) The LS coupling between the two electrons of helium produces S =
0 (singlet) and S = 1 (triplet) states. As the transition between them
is forbidden, the spectrum of atomic helium consists of two independent
systems (singlet and triplet).
1078
(a) Make a table of the atomic ground states for the following elements:
H, He, Be, B, C, N, indicating the states in spectroscopic notation. Give J
only for S states.
(b) State Hund’s rule and give a physical basis for it.
(Wisconsin)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 117
Solution:
(a) The atomic ground states of the elements are as follows:
element: H He Li Be B C N
ground state:
2
S
1/2
1
S
0
2
S
1/2
1
S
0
2
P
1/2
3
P
0
4
S
3/2
(b) For a statement of Hund’s rules see Problem 1008. Hund’s rules
are empirical rules based on many experimental results and their application
is consequently restricted. First, they are reliable only for determining the
lowest energy states of atoms, except those of very heavy elements. They
fail in many cases when used to determine the order of energy levels. For
example, for the electron conﬁguration 1s
2
2s2p
3
of Carbon, the order of
energy levels is obtained experimentally as
5
S <
3
D <
1
D <
3
S <
1
P.
It is seen that although
3
S is a higher multiplet, its energy is higher than
that of
1
D. For higher excited states, the rules may also fail. For instance,
when one of the electrons of Mg atom is excited to dorbital, the energy of
1
D state is lower than that of
3
D state.
Hund’s rules can be somewhat understood as follows. On account of
Pauli’s exclusion principle, equivalent electrons of parallel spins tend to
avoid each other, with the result that their Coulomb repulsion energy, which
is positive, tends to be smaller. Hence energies of states with most parallel
spins (with largest S) will be the smallest. However the statement regarding
states of maximum angular momentum cannot be so readily explained.
1079
(a) What are the terms arising from the electronic conﬁguration 2p3p in
an (LS) RussellSaunders coupled atom? Sketch the level structure, roughly
show the splitting, and label the eﬀect causing the splitting.
(b) What are the electricdipole transition selection rules for these
terms?
(c) To which of your forbidden terms could electric dipole transitions
from a
3
P
1
term be made?
(Wisconsin)
118 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
(a) The spectroscopic terms arising from the electronic conﬁguration
2p3p in LS coupling are obtained as follows.
As l
1
= l
2
= 1, s
1
= s
2
=
1
2
, L = l
1
+ l
2
, S = s
1
+ s
2
, J = L + S, we
can have S = 1, 0, L = 2, 1, 0, J = 3, 2, 1, 0.
For S = 0, L = 2, J = 2:
1
D
2
, L = 1, J = 1:
1
P
1
, L = 0, J = 0:
1
S
0
.
For S = 1, L = 2, J = 3, 2, 1, 0:
3
D
3,2,1
, L = 1, J = 2, 1, 0:
3
P
2,1,0
, L = 0,
J = 1:
3
S
1
. Hence the terms are
singlet :
1
S
0
,
1
P
1
,
1
D
2
triplet :
3
S
1
,
3
P
2,1,0
,
3
D
3,2,1
The corresponding energy levels are shown in Fig. 1.28.
Fig. 1.28
Splitting of spectroscopic terms of diﬀerent S is caused by the Coulomb
exchange energy. Splitting of terms of the same S but diﬀerent L is caused
by the Coulomb repulsion energy. Splitting of terms of the same L, S but
diﬀerent J is caused by the coupling between orbital angular momentum
and spin, i.e., by magnetic interaction.
(b) Selection rules for electricdipole transitions are
(i) Parity must be reversed: even ↔ odd.
(ii) Change in quantum numbers must satisfy
∆S = 0, ∆L = 0, ±1, ∆J = 0, ±1 (excepting 0 →0) .
Atomic and Molecular Physics 119
Electricdipole transition does not take place between these spectral
terms because they have the same parity.
(c) If the
3
P
1
state considered has odd parity, it can undergo transition
to the forbidden spectral terms
3
S
0
,
3
P
2,1,0
,
3
D
2,1
.
1080
The atoms of lead vapor have the ground state conﬁguration 6s
2
6p
2
.
(a) List the quantum numbers of the various levels of this conﬁguration
assuming LS coupling.
(b) State whether transitions between these levels are optically allowed,
i.e., are of electricdipole type. Explain why or why not.
(c) Determine the total number of levels in the presence of a magnetic
ﬁeld B.
(d) Determine the total number of levels when a weak electric ﬁeld E is
applied together with B.
(Chicago)
Solution:
(a) The two 6s electrons ﬁll the ﬁrst subshell. They must have anti
parallel spins, forming state
1
S
0
. Of the two 6p electrons, their orbital
momenta can add up to a total L = 0, 1, 2. Their total spin quantum
number S is determined by Pauli’s exclusion principle for electrons in the
same subshell, which requires L + S = even (Problem 2054(a)). Hence
S = 0 for L = 0, 2 and S = 1 for L = 1. The conﬁguration thus has three
“terms” with diﬀerent L and S, and ﬁve levels including the ﬁne structure
levels with equal L and S but diﬀerent J. The spectroscopic terms for
conﬁguration are therefore
1
S
0
,
3
P
0,1,2
,
1
D
2
.
(b) Electricdipole transitions among these levels which have the same
conﬁguration are forbidden because the levels have the same parity.
(c) In a magnetic ﬁeld each level with quantum number J splits into
2J + 1 components with diﬀerent M
J
. For the 6p
2
levels listed above the
total number of sublevels is 1 + 1 + 3 + 5 + 5 = 15.
(d) The electric ﬁeld E perturbs the sublevels but causes no further
splitting because the sublevels have no residual degeneracy. In other words,
120 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
the applied electric ﬁeld does not cause new splitting of the energy levels,
whose total number is still 15.
1081
Consider a multielectron atom whose electronic conﬁguration is 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
6
3d
10
4s
2
4p4d.
(a) Is this element in the ground state? If not, what is the ground state?
(b) Suppose a RussellSaunders coupling scheme applies to this atom.
Draw an energy level diagram roughly to scale beginning with a single
unperturbed conﬁguration and then taking into account the various inter
actions, giving the perturbation term involved and estimating the energy
split. Label the levels at each stage of the diagram with the appropriate
term designation.
(c) What are the allowed transitions of this state to the ground state,
if any?
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The atom is not in the ground state, which has the outermostshell
electronic conﬁguration 4p
2
, corresponding to atomic states
1
D
2
,
3
P
2,1,0
and
1
S
0
(Problem 1080), among which
3
P
0
has the lowest energy.
(b) The energy correction arising from LS coupling is
∆E =a
1
s
1
s
1
+a
2
l
1
l
2
+AL S
=
a
1
2
[S(S + 1) −s
1
(s
1
+ 1) −s
2
(s
2
+ 1)] +
a
2
2
[L(L + 1)
−l
1
(l
1
+ 1) −l
2
(l
2
+ 1)] +
A
2
[J(J + 1) −L(L + 1) −S(S + 1)] ,
where a
1
, a
2
, A can be positive or negative. The energy levels can be
obtained in three steps, namely, by plotting the splittings caused by S, L
and J successively. The energy levels are given in Fig. 1.29.
(c) The selection rules for electricdipole transitions are:
∆S = 0, ∆L = 0, ±1, ∆J = 0, ±1
(except 0 →0).
The following transitions are allowed:
Atomic and Molecular Physics 121
Fig. 1.29
(4p4d)
3
P
1
→(4p
2
)
3
P
0
, (4p4d)
3
P
1
→(4p
2
)
3
P
1
,
(4p4d)
3
P
1
→(4p
2
)
3
P
2
, (4p4d)
3
P
2
→(4p
2
)
3
P
1
,
(4p4d)
3
P
2
→(4p
2
)
3
P
2
, (4p4d)
3
P
0
→(4p
2
)
3
P
1
,
(4p4d)
3
D
1
→(4p
2
)
3
P
1
, (4p4d)
3
D
1
→(4p
2
)
3
P
2
,
(4p4d)
3
D
2
→(4p
2
)
3
P
1
, (4p4d)
3
D
2
→(4p
2
)
3
P
2
,
(4p4d)
3
D
3
→(4p
2
)
3
P
2
, (4p4d)
1
P
1
→(4p
2
)
1
S
0
,
(4p4d)
1
P
1
→(4p
2
)
1
D
2
, (4p4d)
1
D
2
→(4p
2
)
1
D
2
,
(4p4d)
1
F
3
→(4p
2
)
1
D
2
.
122 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1082
In the ground state of beryllium there are two 1s and two 2s electrons.
The lowest excited states are those in which one of the 2s electrons is excited
to a 2p state.
(a) List these states, giving all the angular momentum quantum num
bers of each.
(b) Order the states according to increasing energy, indicating any de
generacies. Give a physical explanation for this ordering and estimate the
magnitudes of the splitting between the various states.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The electron conﬁguration of the ground state is 1s
2
2s
2
. Pauli’s
principle requires S = 0. Thus the ground state has S = 0, L = 0, J = 0
and is a singlet
1
S
0
.
The lowest excited state has conﬁguration 1s
2
2s2p. Pauli’s principle
allows for both S = 0 and S = 1. For S = 0, as L = 1, we have J = 1 also,
and the state is
1
P
1
. For S = 1, as L = 1, J = 2, 1, 0 and the states are
3
P
2,1,0
.
(b) In order of increasing energy, we have
1
S
0
<
3
P
0
<
3
P
1
<
3
P
2
<
1
P
1
.
The degeneracies of
3
P
2
,
3
P
1
and
1
P
1
are 5, 3, 3 respectively. According
to Hund’s rule (Problem 1008(e)), for the same conﬁguration, the largest
S corresponds to the lowest energy; and for a less than halfﬁlled shell, the
smallest J corresponds to the smallest energy. This roughly explains the
above ordering.
The energy diﬀerence between
1
S
0
and
1
P
1
is of the order of 1 eV.
The energy splitting between the triplet and singlet states is also ∼ 1 eV.
However the energy splitting among the triplet levels of a state is much
smaller, ∼ 10
5
–10
−4
eV.
1083
A characteristic of the atomic structure of the noble gasses is that the
highest pshells are ﬁlled. Thus, the electronic conﬁguration in neon, for
Atomic and Molecular Physics 123
example, is 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
. The total angular momentum J, total orbital an
gular momentum L and total spin angular momentum S of such a closed
shell conﬁguration are all zero.
(a) Explain the meaning of the symbols 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
.
(b) The lowest group of excited states in neon corresponds to the excita
tion of one of the 2p electrons to a 3s orbital. The (2p
5
) core has orbital and
spin angular momenta equal in magnitude but oppositely directed to these
quantities for the electron which was removed. Thus, for its interaction
with the excited electron, the core may be treated as a pwave electron.
Assuming LS (RussellSaunders) coupling, calculate the quantum num
bers (L, S, J) of this group of states.
(c) When an atom is placed in a magnetic ﬁeld H, its energy changes
(from the H = 0 case) by ∆E:
∆E =
e
2mc
gHM ,
where M can be J, J −1, J −2, . . . , −J. The quantity g is known as the
Laud´e gfactor. Calculate g for the L = 1, S = 1, J = 2 state of the
1s
2
2s
2
2p
5
3s conﬁguration of neon.
(d) The structure of the 1s
2
2s
2
2p
5
3p conﬁguration of neon is poorly
described by RussellSaunders coupling. A better description is provided
by the “pair coupling” scheme in which the orbital angular momentum L
2
of the outer electron couples with the total angular momentum J
c
of the
core. The resultant vector K (K = J
c
+L
2
) then couples with the spin S
2
of the outer electron to give the total angular momentum J of the atom.
Calculate the J
c
, K, J quantum numbers of the states of the 1s
2
2s
2
2p
5
3p conﬁguration.
(CUSPEA)
Solution:
(a) In each group of symbols such as 1s
2
, the number in front of the letter
refers to the principal quantum number n, the letter (s, p, etc.) determines
the quantum number l of the orbital angular momentum (s for l = 0, p for
l = 1, etc.), the superscript after the letter denotes the number of electrons
in the subshell (n, l).
(b) The coupling is the same as that between a p and an selectron.
Thus we have l
1
= 1, l
2
= 0 and so L = 1 + 0 = 1; s
1
=
1
2
, s
2
=
1
2
and so
124 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
S =
1
2
+
1
2
= 1 or S =
1
2
−
1
2
= 0. Then L = 1, S = 1 give rise to J = 2, 1,
or 0; L = 1, S = 0 give rise to J = 1. To summarize, the states of (L, S, J)
are (1,1,2), (1,1,1), (1,1,0), (1,0,1).
(c) The gfactor is given by
g = 1 +
J(J + 1) +S(S + 1) −L(L + 1)
2J(J + 1)
.
For (1,1,2) we have
g = 1 +
6 + 2 −2
2 6
=
3
2
.
(d) The coupling is between a core, which is equivalent to a pelectron,
and an outershell pelectron, i.e. between l
c
= 1, s
c
=
1
2
; l
2
= 1, s
2
=
1
2
.
Hence
J
c
=
3
2
,
1
2
, L
2
= 1, S
2
=
1
2
.
For J
c
=
3
2
, L
2
= 1, we have K =
5
2
,
3
2
,
1
2
.
Then for K =
5
2
, J = 3, 2; for K =
3
2
, J = 2, 1; for
K =
1
2
, J = 1, 0 .
For J
c
=
1
2
, L
2
= 1, we have K =
3
2
,
1
2
. Then for
K =
3
2
, J = 2, 1; for K =
1
2
, J = 1, 0 .
1084
A furnace contains atomic sodium at low pressure and a temperature of
2000 K. Consider only the following three levels of sodium:
1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s:
2
S, zero energy (ground state),
1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3p:
2
P, 2.10 eV,
1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
4s:
2
S, 3.18 eV.
(a) What are the photon energies of the emission lines present in the
spectrum? What are their relative intensities? (Give appropriate expres
sions and evaluate them approximately as time permits).
Atomic and Molecular Physics 125
(b) Continuous radiation with a ﬂat spectrum is now passed through
the furnace and the absorption spectrum observed. What spectral lines are
observed? Find their relative intensities.
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
(a) As E
0
= 0 eV, E
1
= 2.10 eV, E
2
= 3.18 eV, there are two electric
dipole transitions corresponding to energies
E
10
= 2.10 eV, E
21
= 1.08 eV.
The probability of transition from energy level k to level i is given by
A
ik
=
e
2
ω
3
ki
3
2
c
3
1
g
k
¸
m
k
,m
i
['im
i
[r[km
k
`[
2
,
where ω
ki
= (E
k
−E
i
)/, i, k being the total angular momentum quantum
numbers, m
k
, m
i
being the corresponding magnetic quantum numbers. The
intensities of the spectral lines are
I
ik
∝ N
k
ω
ki
A
ik
,
where the number of particles in the ith energy level N
i
∝ g
i
exp(−
E
i
kT
).
For
2
P, there are two values of J : J = 3/2, 1/2. Suppose the transition
matrix elements and the spin weight factors of the two transitions are ap
proximately equal. Then the ratio of the intensities of the two spectral
lines is
I
01
I
12
=
ω
10
ω
21
4
exp
E
21
kT
=
2.10
1.08
4
exp
1.08
8.6 10
−5
2000
= 8 10
3
.
(b) The intensity of an absorption line is
I
ik
∝ B
ik
N
k
ρ(ω
ik
)ω
ik
,
where
B
ik
=
4π
2
e
2
3
2
1
g
k
¸
m
k
,m
i
['im
i
[r[km
k
`[
2
126 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
is Einstein’s coeﬃcient. As the incident beam has a ﬂat spectrum, ρ(ω) is
constant. There are two absorption spectral lines: E
0
→E
1
and E
1
→E
2
.
The ratio of their intensities is
I
10
I
21
=
B
10
N
0
ω
10
B
21
N
1
ω
21
≈
ω
10
ω
21
exp
E
10
kT
=
2.10
1.08
exp
2.10
8.62 10
−5
2000
= 4 10
5
.
1085
For C (Z = 6) write down the appropriate electron conﬁguration. Using
the Pauli principle derive the allowed electronic states for the 4 outermost
electrons. Express these states in conventional atomic notation and order in
energy according to Hund’s rules. Compare this with a (2p)
4
conﬁguration.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The electron conﬁguration of C is 1s
2
2s
2
2p
2
. The two 1s electrons
form a complete shell and need not be considered. By Pauli’s principle,
the two electrons 2s
2
have total spin S = 0, and hence total angular
momentum 0. Thus we need consider only the coupling of the two p
electrons. Then the possible electronic states are
1
S
0
,
3
P
2,1,0
,
1
D
2
(Prob
lem 1088). According to Hund’s rule, in the order of increasing energy
they are
3
P
0
,
3
P
1
,
3
P
2
,
1
D
2
,
1
S
0
.
The electronic conﬁguration of (2p)
4
is the same as the above but the
energy order is somewhat diﬀerent. Of the
3
P states, J = 0 has the highest
energy while J = 2 has the lowest. The other states have the same order
as in the 2s
2
2p
2
case.
1086
The atomic number of Mg is Z = 12.
(a) Draw a Mg atomic energy level diagram (not necessarily to scale)
illustrating its main features, including the ground state and excited states
Atomic and Molecular Physics 127
arising from the conﬁgurations in which one valence electron is in the 3s
state and the other valence electron is in the state nl for n = 3, 4 and l = 0,
1. Label the levels with conventional spectroscopic notation. Assuming LS
coupling.
(b) On your diagram, indicate the following (give your reasoning):
(1) an allowed transition,
(2) a forbidden transition,
(3) an intercombination line (if any),
(4) a level which shows (1) anomalous and (2) normal Zeeman eﬀect,
if any.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Figure 1.30 shows the energy level diagram of Mg atom.
(b) (1) An allowed transition:
(3s3p)
1
P
1
→(3s3s)
1
S
0
.
(2) A forbidden transition:
(3s4p)
1
P
1
→(3s3p)
1
P
1
.
(∆π = 0, violating selection rule for parity)
Fig. 1.30
128 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(3) An intercombination line:
(3s3p)
3
P
1
→(3s3s)
1
S
0
.
(4) In a magnetic ﬁeld, the transition (3s3p)
1
P
1
→(3s3s)
1
S
0
only pro
duces three lines, which is known as normal Zeeman eﬀect, as shown in
Fig. 1.31(a). The transition (3s4p)
3
P
1
→(3s4s)
3
S
1
produces six lines and
is known as anomalous Zeeman eﬀect. This is shown in Fig. 1.31(b). The
spacings of the sublevels of (3s3p)
1
P
1
, (3s4p)
3
P
1
, and (3s4s)
3
S
1
are µ
B
B,
3µ
B
B/2 and 2µ
B
B respectively.
Fig. 1.31
1087
Give, in spectroscopic notation, the ground state of the carbon atom,
and explain why this is the ground.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The electron conﬁguration of the lowest energy state of carbon atom is
1s
2
2s
2
2p
2
, which can form states whose spectroscopic notations are
1
S
0
,
3
P
0,1,2
,
1
D
2
. According to Hund’s rule, the ground state has the largest
total spin S. But if there are more than one such states, the ground state
corresponds to the largest total orbital angular momentum L among such
Atomic and Molecular Physics 129
states. If the number of electrons is less than that required to halfﬁll
the shell, the lowestenergy state corresponds to the smallest total angular
momentum J. Of the above states,
3
P
0,1,2
have the largest S. As the pshell
is less than halffull, the state
3
P
0
is the ground state.
1088
What is meant by the statement that the ground state of the carbon
atom has the conﬁguration (1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
2
?
Assuming that RussellSaunders coupling applies, show that there are
5 spectroscopic states corresponding to this conﬁguration:
1
S
0
,
1
D
2
,
3
P
1
,
3
P
2
,
3
P
0
.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The electronic conﬁguration of the ground state of carbon being (1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
2
means that, when the energy of carbon atom is lowest, there are
two electrons on the sorbit of the ﬁrst principal shell and two electrons
each on the s and porbits of the second principal shell.
The spectroscopic notations corresponding to the above electronic con
ﬁguration are determined by the two equivalent electrons on the porbit.
For these two pelectrons, the possible combinations and sums of the
values of the zcomponent of the orbital quantum number are as follows:
m
l2
m
l1
1 0 −1
1 2 1 0
0 1 0 −1
−1 0 −1 −2
For m
l1
= m
l2
, or L = 2, 0, Pauli’s principle requires m
s1
= m
s2
, or
S = 0, giving rise to terms
1
D
2
,
1
S
0
.
For m
s1
= m
s2
, or S = 1, Pauli’s principle requires m
l1
= m
l2
, or L = 1,
and so J = 2,1,0, giving rise to terms
3
P
2,1,0
. Hence corresponding to the
electron conﬁguration 1s
2
2s
2
2p
2
the possible spectroscopic terms are
1
S
0
,
1
D
2
,
3
P
2
,
3
P
1
,
3
P
0
.
130 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1089
Apply the RussellSaunders coupling scheme to obtain all the states
associated with the electron conﬁguration (1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
5
(3p). Label each
state by the spectroscopic notation of the angularmomentum quantum
numbers appropriate to the RussellSaunders coupling.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The 2porbit can accommodate 2(2l +1) = 6 electrons. Hence the con
ﬁguration (1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
5
can be represented by its complement (1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
1
in its coupling with the 3p electron. In LS coupling the combination
of the 2p and 3pelectrons can be considered as follows. As l
1
= 1, l
2
= 1,
s
1
=
1
2
, s
2
=
1
2
, we have L = 2, 1, 0; S = 1, 0. For L = 2, we have for
S = 1: J = 3, 2, 1; and for S = 0: J = 2, giving rise to
3
D
3,2,1
,
1
D
2
. For
L = 1, we have for S = 1: J = 2, 1, 0; and for S = 0: J = 1, giving rise to
3
P
2,1,0
,
1
P
1
. For L = 0, we have for S = 1: J = 1; for S = 0: J = 0, giving
rise to
3
S
1
,
1
S
0
. Hence the given conﬁguration has atomic states
3
S
1
,
3
P
2,1,0
,
3
D
3,2,1
,
1
S
0
,
1
P
1
,
1
D
2
.
1090
The ground conﬁguration of Sd (scandium) is 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
6
3d4s
2
.
(a) To what term does this conﬁguration give rise?
(b) What is the appropriate spectroscopic notation for the multiplet
levels belonging to this term? What is the ordering of the levels as a
function of the energy?
(c) The two lowest (if there are more than two) levels of this ground
multiplet are separated by 168 cm
−1
. What are their relative population
at T = 2000 K?
h = 6.6 10
−34
J sec , c = 3 10
8
m/s , k = 1.4 10
−23
J/K.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Outside completed shells there are one 3delectron and two 4s
electrons to be considered. In LS coupling we have to combine l = 2,
Atomic and Molecular Physics 131
s =
1
2
with L = 0, S = 0. Hence L = 2, S =
1
2
, and the spectroscopic
notations of the electron conﬁguration are
2
D
5/2
,
2
D
3/2
.
(b) The multiplet levels are
2
D
5/2
and
2
D
3/2
, of which the second has
the lower energy according to Hund’s rules as the D shell is less than half
ﬁlled.
(c) The ratio of particle numbers in these two energy levels is
g
1
g
2
exp
−
∆E
kT
,
where g
1
= 2
3
2
+1 = 4 is the degeneracy of
2
D
3/2
, g
2
= 2
5
2
+1 = 6 is the
degeneracy of
2
D
5/2
, ∆E is the separation of these two energy levels. As
∆E = hc∆˜ ν = 6.6 10
−34
3 10
8
168 10
2
= 3.3 10
−21
J ,
g
1
g
2
exp
−
∆E
kT
= 0.6 .
1091
Consider the case of four equivalent pelectrons in an atom or ion.
(Think of these electrons as having the same radial wave function, and
the same orbital angular momentum l = 1).
(a) Within the framework of the RussellSaunders (LS) coupling scheme,
determine all possible conﬁgurations of the four electrons; label these ac
cording to the standard spectroscopic notation, and in each case indicate
the values of L, S, J and the multiplicity.
(b) Compute the Land´e gfactor for all of the above states for which
J = 2.
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
(a) The porbit of a principalshell can accommodate 2(2 1 + 1) = 6
electrons and so the terms for p
n
and p
6−n
are the same. Thus the situation
132 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
of four equivalent pelectrons is the same as that of 2 equivalent pelectrons.
In accordance with Pauli’s principle, the spectroscopic terms are (Problem
1088)
1
S
0
(S = 0, L = 0, J = 0)
1
D
2
(S = 0, L = 2, J = 2)
3
P
2,1,0
(S = 1, L = 1, J = 2, 1, 0) .
(b) The Land´e gfactors are given by
g = 1 +
J(J + 1) +S(S + 1) −L(L + 1)
2J(J + 1)
.
For
1
D
2
:
g = 1 +
2 3 + 0 1 −2 3
2 2 3
= 1 ,
For
3
P
2
:
g = 1 +
2 3 + 1 2 −1 2
2 2 3
= 1.5 .
1092
For the sodium doublet give:
(a) Spectroscopic notation for the energy levels (Fig. 1.32).
(b) Physical reason for the energy diﬀerence E.
(c) Physical reason for the splitting ∆E.
(d) The expected intensity ratio
D
2
/D
1
if kT ∆E .
(Wisconsin)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 133
Fig. 1.32
Solution:
(a) The spectroscopic notations for the energy levels are shown in
Fig. 1.33.
Fig. 1.33
(b) The energy diﬀerence E arises from the polarization of the atomic
nucleus and the penetration of the electron orbits into the nucleus, which
are diﬀerent for diﬀerent orbital angular momenta l.
(c) ∆E is caused by the coupling between the spin and orbit angular
momentum of the electrons.
(d) When kT ∆E, the intensity ratio D
2
/D
1
is determined by the
degeneracies of
2
P
3/2
and
2
P
1/2
:
D
2
D
1
=
2J
2
+ 1
2J
1
+ 1
=
3 + 1
1 + 1
= 2 .
134 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1093
(a) What is the electron conﬁguration of sodium (Z = 11) in its ground
state? In its ﬁrst excited state?
(b) Give the spectroscopic term designation (e.g.
4
S
3/2
) for each of these
states in the LS coupling approximation.
(c) The transition between the two states is in the visible region. What
does this say about kR, where k is the wave number of the radiation and R
is the radius of the atom? What can you conclude about the multipolarity
of the emitted radiation?
(d) What are the sodium “Dlines” and why do they form a doublet?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The electron conﬁguration of the ground state of Na is 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
1
,
and that of the ﬁrst excited state is 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3p
1
.
(b) The ground state:
2
S
1/2
.
The ﬁrst excited state:
2
P
3/2
,
2
P
1/2
.
(c) As the atomic radius R ≈ 1
˚
A and for visible light k ≈ 10
−4
˚
A
−1
,
we have kR <1, which satisﬁes the condition for electricdipole transition.
Hence the transitions
2
P
3/2
→
2
S
1/2
,
2
P
1/2
→
2
S
1/2
are electric dipole
transitions.
(d) The Dlines are caused by transition from the ﬁrst excited state
to the ground state of Na. The ﬁrst excited state is split into two energy
levels
2
P
3/2
and
2
P
1/2
due to LS coupling. Hence the Dline has a doublet
structure.
1094
Couple a pstate and an sstate electron via
(a) RussellSaunders coupling,
(b) j, j coupling,
and identify the resultant states with the appropriate quantum numbers.
Sketch side by side the energy level diagrams for the two cases and show
which level goes over to which as the spinorbit coupling is increased.
(Wisconsin)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 135
Solution:
We have s
1
= s
2
= 1/2, l
1
= 1, l
2
= 0.
(a) In LS coupling, L = l
1
+ l
2
, S = s
1
+ s
2
, J = L + S. Thus
L = 1, S = 1, 0.
For S = 1, J = 2, 1, 0, giving rise to
3
P
2,1,0
.
For S = 0, J = 1, giving rise to
1
P
1
.
(b) In jj coupling, j
1
= l
1
+s
1
, j
2
= l
2
+s
2
, J = j
1
+j
2
. Thus j
1
=
3
2
,
1
2
,
j
2
=
1
2
.
Hence the coupled states are
3
2
,
1
2
2
,
3
2
,
1
2
1
,
1
2
,
1
2
1
,
1
2
,
1
2
0
,
where the subscripts indicate the values of J.
The coupled states are shown in Fig. 1.34.
Fig. 1.34
1095
(a) State the ground state conﬁguration of a carbon atom, and list the
levels (labeled in terms of RusselSaunders coupling) of this conﬁguration.
136 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) Which is the ground state level? Justify your answer.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The electronic conﬁguration of the ground state of carbon is 1s
2
2s
2
2p
2
. The corresponding energy levels are
1
S
0
,
2
P
2,1,0
,
1
D
2
.
(b) According to Hund’s rules, the ground state is
3
P
0
.
1096
For each of the following atomic radiative transitions, indicate whe
ther the transition is allowed or forbidden under the electricdipole radiation
selection rules. For the forbidden transitions, cite the selection rules which
are violated.
(a) He: (1s)(1p)
1
P
1
→(1s)
2 1
S
0
(b) C: (1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)(3s)
3
P
1
→(1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
2 3
P
0
(c) C: (1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)(3s)
3
P
0
→(1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
2 3
P
0
(d) Na: (1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
6
(4d)
2
D
5/2
→(1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
6
(3p)
2
P
1/2
(e) He: (1s)(2p)
3
P
1
→(1s)
2 1
S
0
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The selection rules for single electricdipole transition are
∆l = ±1, ∆j = 0, ±1 .
The selection rules for multiple electricdipole transition are
∆S = 0 , ∆L = 0 , ±1, ∆J = 0, ±1(0 / ←→0) .
(a) Allowed electricdipole transition.
(b) Allowed electricdipole transition.
(c) Forbidden as the total angular momentum J changes from 0 to 0
which is forbidden for electricdipole transition.
(d) Forbidden as it violates the condition ∆J = 0, ±1.
(e) Forbidden as it violates the condition ∆S = 0.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 137
1097
Consider a hypothetical atom with an electron conﬁguration of two iden
tical pshell electrons outside a closed shell.
(a) Assuming LS (RussellSaunders) coupling, identify the possible lev
els of the system using the customary spectroscopic notation,
(2S+1)
L
J
.
(b) What are the parities of the levels in part (a)?
(c) In the independentparticle approximation these levels would all be
degenerate, but in fact their energies are somewhat diﬀerent. Describe the
physical origins of the splittings.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The electronic conﬁguration is p
2
. The two pelectrons being equiv
alent, the possible energy levels are (Problem 1088)
1
S
0
,
3
P
2,1,0
,
1
D
2
.
(b) The parity of an energy level is determined by the sum of the orbital
angular momentum quantum numbers: parity π = (−1)
Σl
. Parity is even
or odd depending on π being +1 or −1. The levels
1
S
0
,
3
P
2,1,0
,
1
D
2
have
Σl = 2 and hence even parity.
(c) See Problem 1079(a).
1098
What is the ground state conﬁguration of potassium (atomic num
ber 19).
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
The ground state conﬁguration of potassium is 1s
2
2s
2
2p
6
3s
2
3p
6
4s
1
.
1099
Consider the
17
O isotope (I = 5/2) of the oxygen atom. Draw a diagram
to show the ﬁnestructure and hyperﬁnestructure splittings of the levels
138 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
described by (1s
2
2s
2
2p
4
)
3
P. Label the states by the appropriate angular
momentum quantum numbers.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The ﬁne and hyperﬁne structures of the
3
P state of
17
O is shown in
Fig. 1.35.
Fig. 1.35
1100
Consider a helium atom with a 1s3d electronic conﬁguration. Sketch a
series of energylevel diagrams to be expected when one takes successively
into account:
(a) only the Coulomb attraction between each electron and the nucleus,
(b) the electrostatic repulsion between the electrons,
(c) spinorbit coupling,
(d) the eﬀect of a weak external magnetic ﬁeld.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The successive energylevel splittings are shown in Fig. 1.36.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 139
Fig. 1.36
1101
Sodium chloride forms cubic crystals with four Na and four Cl atoms
per cube. The atomic weights of Na and Cl are 23.0 and 35.5 respectively.
The density of NaCl is 2.16 gm/cc.
(a) Calculate the longest wavelength for which Xrays can be Bragg
reﬂected.
(b) For Xrays of wavelength 4
˚
A, determine the number of Bragg re
ﬂections and the angle of each.
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
(a) Let V be the volume of the unit cell, N
A
be Avogadro’s number, ρ
be the density of NaCl. Then
V ρN
A
= 4(23.0 + 35.5) ,
giving
140 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
V =
4 58.5
2.16 6.02 10
23
= 1.80 10
−22
cm
3
,
and the side length of the cubic unit cell
d =
3
√
V = 5.6 10
−8
cm = 5.6
˚
A.
Bragg’s equation 2d sinθ = nλ, then gives
λ
max
= 2d = 11.2
˚
A.
(b) For λ = 4
˚
A,
sinθ =
λn
2d
= 0.357n.
Hence
for n = 1 : sinθ = 0.357, θ = 20.9
◦
,
for n = 2 : sinθ = 0.714, θ = 45.6
◦
For n ≥ 3: sinθ > 1, and Bragg reﬂection is not allowed.
1102
(a) 100 keV electrons bombard a tungsten target (Z = 74). Sketch the
spectrum of resulting Xrays as a function of 1/λ (λ = wavelength). Mark
the K Xray lines.
(b) Derive an approximate formula for λ as a function of Z for the K
Xray lines and show that the Moseley plot (λ
−1/2
vs. Z) is (nearly) a
straight line.
(c) Show that the ratio of the slopes of the Moseley plot for K
α
and K
β
(the two longestwavelength Klines) is (27/32)
1/2
.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The Xray spectrum consists of two parts, continuous and charac
teristic. The continuous spectrum has the shortest wavelength determined
by the energy of the incident electrons:
λ
min
=
hc
E
=
12.4
100
˚
A = 0.124
˚
A.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 141
The highest energy for the K Xray lines of W is 13.6 74
2
eV =
74.5 keV, so the K Xray lines are superimposed on the continuous spectrum
as shown as Fig. 1.37.
Fig. 1.37
(b) The energy levels of tungsten atom are given by
E
n
= −
RhcZ
∗2
n
2
,
where Z
∗
is the eﬀective nuclear charge.
The K lines arise from transitions to ground state (n →1):
hc
λ
= −
RhcZ
∗2
n
2
+RhcZ
∗2
,
giving
λ =
n
2
(n
2
−1)RZ
∗2
,
or
λ
−
1
2
= Z
∗
n
2
−1
n
2
R ≈ Z
n
2
−1
n
2
R. (n = 1, 2, 3, . . . )
142 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Hence the relation between λ
−1/2
and Z is approximately linear.
(c) K
α
lines are emitted in transitions n = 2 to n = 1, and K
β
lines,
from n = 3 to n = 1. In the Moseley plot, the slope of the K
α
curve is
3
4
R and that of K
β
is
8
9
R, so the ratio of the two slopes is
(3/4)R
(8/9)R
=
27
32
.
1103
(a) If a source of continuum radiation passes through a gas, the emergent
radiation is referred to as an absorption spectrum. In the optical and ultra
violet region there are absorption lines, while in the Xray region there are
absorption edges. Why does this diﬀerence exist and what is the physical
origin of the two phenomena?
(b) Given that the ionization energy of atomic hydrogen is 13.6 eV, what
would be the energy E of the radiation from the n = 2 to n = 1 transition
of boron (Z = 5) that is 4 times ionized? (The charge of the ion is +4e.)
(c) Would the K
α
ﬂuorescent radiation from neutral boron have an
energy E
k
greater than, equal to, or less than E of part (b)? Explain why.
(d) Would the K absorption edge of neutral boron have an energy E
k
greater than, equal to, or less than E
k
of part (c)? Explain why.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Visible and ultraviolet light can only cause transitions of the outer
electrons because of their relatively low energies. The absorption spectrum
consists of dark lines due to the absorption of photons of energy equal to the
diﬀerence in energy of two electron states. On the other hand, photons with
energies in the Xray region can cause the ejection of inner electrons from
the atoms, ionizing them. This is because in the normal state the outer
orbits are usually ﬁlled. Starting from lower frequencies in the ultraviolet
the photons are able to eject only the loosely bound outer electrons. As
the frequency increases, the photons suddenly become suﬃciently energetic
to eject electrons from an inner shell, causing the absorption coeﬃcient to
increase suddenly, giving rise to an absorption edge. As the frequency is
Atomic and Molecular Physics 143
increased further, the absorption coeﬃcient decreases approximately as ν
−3
until the frequency becomes great enough to allow electron ejection from
the next inner shell, giving rise to another absorption edge.
(b) The energy levels of a hydrogenlike atom are given by
E
n
= −
Z
2
e
2
2n
2
a
0
= −
Z
2
n
2
E
0
,
where E
0
is the ionization energy of hydrogen. Hence
E
2
−E
1
= −Z
2
E
0
1
2
2
−
1
1
2
= 5
2
13.6
3
4
= 255 eV.
(c) Due to the shielding by the orbital electrons of the nuclear charge,
the energy E
k
of K
α
emitted from neutral Boron is less than that given in
(b).
(d) As the K absorption edge energy E
k
correspond to the ionization
energy of a K shell electron, it is greater than the energy given in (c).
1104
For Zn, the Xray absorption edges have the following values in keV:
K 9.67, L
I
1.21, L
II
1.05, L
III
1.03 .
Determine the wavelength of the K
α
line.
If Zn is bombarded by 5keV electrons, determine
(a) the wavelength of the shortest Xray line, and
(b) the wavelength of the shortest characteristic Xray line which can
be emitted.
Note: The K level corresponds to n = 1, the three Llevels to the dif
ferent states with n = 2. The absorption edges are the lowest energies for
which Xrays can be absorbed by ejection of an electron from the corre
sponding level. The K
α
line corresponds to a transition from the lowest L
level.
(UC, Berkeley)
144 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
The K
α
series consists of two lines, K
α1
(L
III
→K), K
α2
(L
II
→K):
E
K
α
1
= K
L
III
−E
K
= 9.67 −1.03 = 8.64 keV,
E
K
α
2
= K
L
II
−E
K
= 9.67 −1.05 = 8.62 keV.
Hence
λ
K
α
1
=
hc
E
K
α
1
=
12.41
8.64
= 1.436
˚
A,
λ
K
α
2
=
hc
E
K
α
2
= 1.440
˚
A.
(a) The minimum Xray wavelength that can be emitted by bombarding
the atoms with 5keV electrons is
λ
min
=
hc
E
max
=
12.41
5
= 2.482
˚
A.
(b) It is possible to excite electrons on energy levels other than the
K level by bombardment with 5keV electrons, and cause the emission of
characteristic Xrays when the atoms deexcite. The highestenergy Xrays
have energy 0 −E
I
= 1.21 keV, corresponding to a wavelength of 10.26
˚
A.
1105
The characteristic K
α
Xrays emitted by an atom of atomic number Z
were found by Morseley to have the energy 13.6 (1 −
1
4
)(Z −1)
2
eV.
(a) Interpret the various factors in this expression.
(b) What ﬁne structure is found for the K
α
transitions? What are the
pertinent quantum numbers?
(c) Some atoms go to a lower energy state by an Auger transition.
Describe the process.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) In this expression, 13.6 eV is the ground state energy of hydrogen
atom, i.e., the binding energy of an 1s electron to unit nuclear charge, the
Atomic and Molecular Physics 145
factor (1 −
1
4
) arises from diﬀerence in principal quantum number between
the states n = 2 and n = 1, and (Z −1) is the eﬀective nuclear charge. The
K
α
line thus originates from a transition from n = 2 to n = 1.
(b) The K
α
line actually has a doublet structure. In LS coupling, the
n = 2 state splits into three energy levels:
2
S
1/2
,
2
P
1/2
,
2
P
3/2
, while the
n = 1 state is still a single state
2
S
1/2
. According to the selection rules
∆L = ±1, ∆J = 0, ±1(0 / ←→0), the allowed transitions are
K
α1
: 2
2
P
3/2
→1
2
S
1/2
,
K
α2
: 2
2
P
1/2
→1
2
S
1/2
.
(c) The physical basis of the Auger process is that, after an electron has
been removed from an inner shell an electron from an outer shell falls to
the vacancy so created and the excess energy is released through ejection of
another electron, rather than by emission of a photon. The ejected electron
is called Auger electron. For example, after an electron has been removed
from the K shell, an L shell electron may fall to the vacancy so created
and the diﬀerence in energy is used to eject an electron from the L shell or
another outer shell. The latter, the Auger electron, has kinetic energy
E = −E
L
−(−E
k
) −E
L
= E
k
−2E
L
,
where E
k
and E
L
are the ionization energies of K and L shells respectively.
1106
The binding energies of the two 2p states of niobium (Z = 41) are
2370 eV and 2465 eV. For lead (Z = 82) the binding energies of the 2p
states are 13035 eV and 15200 eV. The 2p binding energies are roughly
proportional to (Z − a)
2
while the splitting between the 2P
1/2
and the
2P
3/2
goes as (Z −a)
4
. Explain this behavior, and state what might be a
reasonable value for the constant a.
(Columbia)
Solution:
The 2p electron moves in a central potential ﬁeld of the nucleus shielded
by inner electrons. Taking account of the ﬁne structure due to ls coupling,
the energy of a 2p electron is given by
146 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
E = −
1
4
Rhc(Z −a
1
)
2
+
1
8
Rhcα
2
(Z −a
2
)
4
¸
¸
3
8
−
1
j +
1
2
¸
= −3.4(Z −a
1
)
2
+ 9.06 10
−5
(Z −a
2
)
4
¸
¸
3
8
−
1
j +
1
2
¸
,
as Rhc = 13.6 eV, α = 1/137. Note that −E gives the binding energy and
that
2
P
3/2
corresponds to lower energy according to Hund’s rule. For Nb,
we have 95 = 9.06 10
−5
(41 − a
2
)
4
0.5, or a
2
= 2.9, which then gives
a
1
= 14.7. Similarly we have for Pb: a
1
= 21.4, a
2
= −1.2.
1107
(a) Describe carefully an experimental arrangement for determining the
wavelength of the characteristic lines in an Xray emission spectrum.
(b) From measurement of Xray spectra of a variety of elements, Moseley
was able to assign an atomic number Z to each of the elements. Explain
explicitly how this assignment can be made.
(c) Discrete Xray lines emitted from a certain target cannot in general
be observed as absorption lines in the same material. Explain why, for
example, the K
α
lines cannot be observed in the absorption spectra of
heavy elements.
(d) Explain the origin of the continuous spectrum of Xrays emitted
when a target is bombarded by electrons of a given energy. What feature
of this spectrum is inconsistent with classical electromagnetic theory?
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The wavelength can be determined by the method of crystal diﬀrac
tion. As shown in the Fig. 1.38, the Xrays collimated by narrow slits S
1
,
S
2
, fall on the surface of crystal C which can be rotated about a verti
cal axis. Photographic ﬁlm P forms an arc around C. If the condition
2d sinθ = nλ, where d is the distance between neighboring Bragg planes
and n is an integer, is satisﬁed, a diﬀraction line appears on the ﬁlm at A.
After rotating the crystal, another diﬀraction line will appear at A
which
is symmetric to A. As 4θ = arcAA
/CA, the wavelength λ can be obtained.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 147
Fig. 1.38
(b) Each element has its own characteristic Xray spectrum, of which
the K series has the shortest wavelengths, and next to them the L series,
etc. Moseley discovered that the K series of diﬀerent elements have the
same structure, only the wavelengths are diﬀerent. Plotting
√
˜ ν versus the
atomic number Z, he found an approximate linear relation:
˜ ν = R(Z −1)
2
1
1
2
−
1
2
2
,
where R = R
H
c, R
H
being the Rydberg constant and c the velocity of light
in free space.
Then if the wavelength or frequency of K
α
of a certain element is found,
its atomic number Z can be determined.
(c) The K
α
lines represent the diﬀerence in energy between electrons
in diﬀerent inner shells. Usually these energy levels are all occupied and
transitions cannot take place between them by absorbing Xrays with en
ergy equal to the energy diﬀerence between such levels. The Xrays can
only ionize the innershell electrons. Hence only absorption edges, but not
absorption lines, are observed.
(d) When electrons hit a target they are decelerated and consequently
emit bremsstrahlung radiation, which are continuous in frequency with the
shortest wavelength determined by the maximum kinetic energy of the elec
trons, λ =
hc
E
e
. On the other hand, in the classical electromagnetic theory,
the kinetic energy of the electrons can only aﬀect the intensity of the spec
trum, not the wavelength.
1108
In the Xray region, as the photon energy decreases the Xray absorption
cross section rises monotonically, except for sharp drops in the cross section
148 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
at certain photon energies characteristic of the absorbing material. For Zn
(Z = 30) the four most energetic of these drops are at photon energies
9678 eV, 1236 eV, 1047 eV and 1024 eV.
(a) Identify the transitions corresponding to these drops in the Xray
absorption cross section.
(b) Identify the transitions and give the energies of Zn Xray emission
lines whose energies are greater than 5000 eV.
(c) Calculate the ionization energy of Zn
29+
(i.e., a Zn atom with 29
electrons removed). (Hint: the ionization energy of hydrogen is 13.6 eV).
(d) Why does the result of part (c) agree so poorly with 9678 eV?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The energies 9.768, 1.236, 1.047 and 1.024 keV correspond to the
ionization energies of an 1s electron, a 2s electron, and each of two 2p elec
trons respectively. That is, they are energies required to eject the respective
electrons to an inﬁnite distance from the atom.
(b) Xrays of Zn with energies greater than 5 keV are emitted in tran
sitions of electrons from other shells to the K shell. In particular Xrays
emitted in transitions from L to K shells are
K
α1
: E = −1.024 −(−9.678) = 8.654 keV, (L
III
→K)
K
α2
: E = −1.047 −(−9.678) = 8.631 keV. (L
II
→K)
(c) The ionization energy of the Zn
29+
(a hydrogenlike atom) is
E
Zn
= 13.6 Z
2
= 11.44 keV.
(d) The energy 9.678 keV corresponds to the ionization energy of the 1s
electron in the neutral Zn atom. Because of the Coulomb screening eﬀect
of the other electrons, the eﬀective charge of the nucleus is Z
∗
< 30. Also
the farther is the electron from the nucleus, the less is the nuclear charge
Z
∗
it interacts with. Hence the ionization energy of a 1s electron of the
neutral Zn atom is much less than that of the Zn
29+
ion.
1109
Sketch a derivation of the “Land´e gfactor”, i.e. the factor determining
the eﬀective magnetic moment of an atom in weak ﬁelds.
(Wisconsin)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 149
Solution:
Let the total orbital angular momentum of the electrons in the atom
be P
L
, the total spin angular momentum be P
S
(P
L
and P
S
being all in
units of ). Then the corresponding magnetic moments are µ
L
= −µ
B
P
L
and µ
S
= −2µ
B
P
S
, where µ
B
is the Bohr magneton. Assume the total
magnetic moment is µ
J
= −gµ
B
P
J
, where g is the Land´e gfactor. As
P
J
= P
L
+P
S
,
µ
J
= µ
L
+µ
S
= −µ
B
(P
L
+ 2P
S
) = −µ
B
(P
J
+P
S
) ,
we have
µ
J
=
µ
J
P
J
P
2
J
P
J
= −µ
B
(P
J
+P
S
) P
J
P
2
J
P
J
= −µ
B
P
2
J
+P
S
P
J
P
2
J
P
J
= −gµ
B
P
J
,
giving
g =
P
2
J
+P
S
P
J
P
2
J
= 1 +
P
S
P
J
P
2
J
.
As
P
L
P
L
= (P
J
−P
S
) (P
J
−P
S
) = P
2
J
+P
2
S
−2P
J
P
S
,
we have
P
J
P
S
=
1
2
(P
2
J
+P
2
S
−P
2
L
) .
Hence
g = 1 +
P
2
J
+P
2
S
−P
2
L
2P
2
J
= 1 +
J(J + 1) +S(S + 1) −L(L + 1)
2J(J + 1)
.
150 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1110
In the spin echo experiment, a sample of a protoncontaining liquid
(e.g. glycerin) is placed in a steady but spatially inhomogeneous magnetic
ﬁeld of a few kilogauss. A pulse (a few microseconds) of a strong (a few
gauss) rediofrequency ﬁeld is applied perpendicular to the steady ﬁeld. Im
mediately afterwards, a radiofrequency signal can be picked up from the
coil around the sample. But this dies out in a fraction of a millisecond
unless special precaution has been taken to make the ﬁeld very spatially
homogeneous, in which case the signal persists for a long time. If a sec
ond long radiofrequency pulse is applied, say 15 milliseconds after the ﬁrst
pulse, then a radiofrequency signal is observed 15 milliseconds after the
second pulse (the echo).
(a) How would you calculate the proper frequency for the radiofrequency
pulse?
(b) What are the requirements on the spatial homogeneity of the steady
ﬁeld?
(c) Explain the formation of the echo.
(d) How would you calculate an appropriate length of the ﬁrst radiofre
quency pulse?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The radiofrequency ﬁeld must have suﬃciently high frequency to
cause nuclear magnetic resonance:
ω = γ
p
H
0
(r) ,
or
ω = γ
p
'H
0
(r)` ,
where γ
p
is the gyromagnetic ratio, and 'H
0
(r)` is the average value of the
magnetic ﬁeld in the sample.
(b) Suppose the maximum variation of H
0
in the sample is (∆H)
m
.
Then the decay time is
1
γ
p
(∆H)
m
. We require
1
γ
p
(∆H)
m
> τ, where τ is the
time interval between the two pulses. Thus we require
(∆H)
m
<
1
γ
p
τ
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 151
(c) Take the zaxis along the direction of the steady magnetic ﬁeld H
0
.
At t = 0, the magnetic moments are parallel to H
0
(Fig. 1.39(a)). After
introducing the ﬁrst magnetic pulse H
1
in the x direction, the magnetic
moments will deviate from the z direction (Fig. 1.39(b)). The angle θ of
the rotation of the magnetic moments can be adjusted by changing the
width of the magnetic pulse, as shown in Fig. 1.39(c) where θ = 90
◦
.
Fig. 1.39
The magnetic moments also processes around the direction of H
0
. The
spatial inhomogeneity of the steady magnetic ﬁeld H
0
causes the proces
sional angular velocity ω = γ
P
H
0
to be diﬀerent at diﬀerent points, with
the result that the magnetic moments will fan out as shown in Fig. 1.39(d).
If a second, wider pulse is introduced along the x direction at t = τ (say,
at t = 15 ms), it makes all the magnetic moments turn 180
◦
about the x
axis (Fig. 1.39(e)). Now the order of procession of the magnetic moments
is reversed (Fig. 1.39(f)). At t = 2τ, the directions of the magnetic mo
ments will again become the same (Fig. 1.39(g)). At this instant, the total
magnetic moment and its rate of change will be a maximum, producing
a resonance signal and forming an echo wave (Fig. 1.40). Afterwards the
magnetic moments scatter again and the signal disappears, as shown in
Fig. 1.39(h).
(d) The ﬁrst radio pulse causes the magnetic moments to rotate through
an angle θ about the xaxis. To enhance the echo wave, the rotated mag
netic moments should be perpendicular to H
0
, i.e., θ ≈ π/2. This means
that
γ
P
H
1
t ≈ π/2 ,
i.e., the width of the ﬁrst pulse should be t ≈
π
2γ
P
H
1
.
152 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.40
1111
Choose only ONE of the following spectroscopes:
Continuous electron spin resonance
Pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance
M¨ossbauer spectroscopy
(a) Give a block diagram of the instrumentation required to perform
the spectroscopy your have chosen.
(b) Give a concise description of the operation of this instrument.
(c) Describe the results of a measurement making clear what quantita
tive information can be derived from the data and the physical signiﬁcance
of this quantitative information.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
(1) Continuous electron spin resonance
(a) The experimental setup is shown in Fig. 1.41.
(b) Operation. The sample is placed in the resonant cavity, which is
under a static magnetic ﬁeld B
0
. Fixedfrequency microwaves B
1
created
in the klystron is guided to the Tbridge. When the microwave power is dis
tributed equally to the arms 1 and 2, there is no signal in the wave detector.
As B
0
is varied, when the resonance condition is satisﬁed, the sample ab
sorbs power and the balance between 1 and 2 is disturbed. The absorption
Atomic and Molecular Physics 153
Fig. 1.41
Fig. 1.42
signal is transmitted to the wave detector through arm 3, to be displayed
or recorded.
(c) Data analysis. The monitor may show two types of diﬀerential graph
(Fig. 1.42), Gaussian or Lagrangian, from which the following information
may be obtained.
(i) The gfactor can be calculated from B
0
at the center and the mi
crowave frequency.
(ii) The line width can be found from the peaktopeak distance ∆B
pp
of the diﬀerential signal.
(iii) The relaxation time T
1
and T
2
can be obtained by the saturation
method, where T
1
and T
2
(Lorenzian proﬁle) are given by
154 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
T
2
(spin–spin) =
1.3131 10
−7
g∆B
0
pp
,
T
1
=
0.9848 10
−7
∆B
0
PP
gB
2
1
1
s
−1
.
In the above g is the Land´e factor, ∆B
0
PP
is the saturation peaktopeak
distance (in gauss), B
1
is the magnetic ﬁeld corresponding to the edge of
the spectral line, and s is the saturation factor.
(iv) The relative intensities.
By comparing with the standard spectrum, we can determine fromthe g
factor and the line proﬁle to what kind of paramagnetic atoms the spectrum
belongs. If there are several kinds of paramagnetic atoms present in the
sample, their relative intensities give the relative amounts. Also, from the
structure of the spectrum, the nuclear spin I may be found.
(2) Pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance
(a) Figure 1.43 shows a block diagram of the experimental setup.
(b) Operation. Basically an external magnetic ﬁeld is employed to split
up the spin states of the nuclei. Then a pulsed radiofrequency ﬁeld is in
troduced perpendicular to the static magnetic ﬁeld to cause resonant tran
sitions between the spin states. The absorption signals obtained from the
same coil are ampliﬁed, Fouriertransformed, and displayed on a monitor
screen.
Fig. 1.43
Atomic and Molecular Physics 155
(c) Information that can be deduced are positions and number of ab
sorption peaks, integrated intensities of absorption peaks, the relaxation
times T
1
and T
2
.
The positions of absorption peaks relate to chemical displacement. From
the number and integrated intensities of the peaks, the structure of the
compound may be deduced as diﬀerent kinds of atom have diﬀerent ways
of compounding with other atoms. For a given way of compounding, the
integrated spectral intensity is proportional to the number of atoms. Con
sequently, the ratio of atoms in diﬀerent combined forms can be determined
from the ratio of the spectral intensities. The number of the peaks relates
to the coupling between nuclei.
Fig. 1.44
For example Fig. 1.44 shows the nuclear magnetic resonance spectrum
of H in alcohol. Three groups of nuclear magnetic resonance spectra are
seen. The single peak on the left arises from the combination of H and O.
The 4 peaks in the middle are the nuclear magnetic resonance spectrum of
H in CH
2
, and the 3 peaks on the right are the nuclear magnetic resonance
spectrum of H in CH
3
. The line shape and number of peaks are related to
the coupling between CH
2
and CH
3
. Using the horizontal line 1 as base
line, the relative heights of the horizontal lines 2, 3, 4 give the relative
integrated intensities of the three spectra, which are exactly in the ratio of
1:2:3.
(3) M¨ossbauer spectroscopy
(a) Figure 1.45 shows a block diagram of the apparatus.
156 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.45
(b) Operation. The signal source moves towards the ﬁxed absorber with
a velocity v modulated by the signals of the wave generator. During reso
nant absorption, the γray detector behind the absorber produces a pulse
signal, which is stored in the multichannel analyser MCA. Synchronous sig
nals establish the correspondence between the position of a pulse and the
velocity v, from which the resonant absorption curve is obtained.
(c) Information that can be obtained are the position δ of the absorption
peak (Fig. 1.46), integrated intensity of the absorbing peak A, peak width Γ.
Fig. 1.46
Besides the eﬀect of interactions among the nucleons inside the nucleus,
nuclear energy levels are aﬀected by the crystal structure, the orbital elec
trons and atoms nearby. In the M¨ossbauer spectrum the isomeric shift δ
varies with the chemical environment. For instance, among the isomeric
shifts of Sn
2+
, Sn
4+
and the metallic βSn, that of Sn
2+
is the largest, that
of βSn comes next, and that of the Sn
4+
is the smallest.
The lifetime of an excited nuclear state can be determined from the
width Γ of the peak by the uncertainty principle Γτ ∼ .
Atomic and Molecular Physics 157
The M¨ossbaur spectra of some elements show quadrupole splitting, as
shown in Fig. 1.47. The quadrupole moment Q = 2∆/e
2
q of the nucleus
can be determined from this splitting, where q is the gradient of the electric
ﬁeld at the site of the nucleus, e is the electronic charge.
Fig. 1.47
1112
Pick ONE phenomenon from the list below, and answer the following
questions about it:
(1) What is the eﬀect? (e.g., “The M¨ossbauer eﬀect is . . . ”)
(2) How can it be measured?
(3) Give several sources of noise that will inﬂuence the measurement.
(4) What properties of the specimen or what physical constants can be
measured by examining the eﬀect?
Pick one:
(a) Electron spin resonance. (b) M¨ ossbauer eﬀect. (c) The Josephson
eﬀect. (d) Nuclear magnetic resonance. (e) The Hall eﬀect.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
(a) (b) (d) Refer to Problem 1111.
(c) The Josephson eﬀect: Under proper conditions, superconducting
electrons can cross a very thin insulation barrier from one superconduc
tor into another. This is called the Josephson eﬀect (Fig. 1.48). The
158 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.48
Josephson eﬀect is of two kinds, direct current Josephson eﬀect and alter
nating current Josephson eﬀect.
The direct current Josephson eﬀect refers to the phenomenon of a direct
electric current crossing the Josephson junction without the presence of any
external electric or magnetic ﬁeld. The superconducting current density can
be expressed as J
s
= J
c
sinϕ, where J
c
is the maximum current density that
can cross the junction, ϕ is the phase diﬀerence of the wave functions in
the superconductors on the two sides of the insulation barrier.
The alternating current Josephson eﬀect occurs in the following situa
tions:
1. When a direct current voltage is introduced to the two sides of the
Josephson junction, a radiofrequency current J
s
= J
c
sin(
2e
V t + ϕ
0
) is
produced in the Josephson junction, where V is the direct current voltage
imposed on the two sides of the junction.
2. If a Josephson junction under an imposed bias voltage V is exposed to
microwaves of frequency ω and the condition V = nω/2e (n = 1, 2, 3, . . . )
is satisﬁed, a direct current component will appear in the superconducting
current crossing the junction.
Josephson eﬀect can be employed for accurate measurement of e/. In
the experiment the Josephson junction is exposed to microwaves of a ﬁxed
frequency. By adjusting the bias voltage V , current steps can be seen on
the I–V graph, and e/ determined from the relation ∆V = ω/2e, where
∆V is the diﬀerence of the bias voltages of the neighboring steps.
The Josephson junction can also be used as a sensitive microwave de
tector. Furthermore, ∆V = ω/2e can serve as a voltage standard.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 159
Fig. 1.49
Making use of the modulation eﬀect on the junction current of the
magnetic ﬁeld, we can measure weak magnetic ﬁelds. For a ring struc
ture consisting of two parallel Josephson junctions as shown in Fig. 1.49
(“doublejunction quantum interferometer”), the current is given by
I
s
= 2I
s0
sinϕ
0
cos
πΦ
φ
0
,
where I
s0
is the maximum superconducting current which can be produced
in a single Josephson junction, φ
0
=
h
2e
is the magnetic ﬂux quantum, Φ is
the magnetic ﬂux in the superconducting ring. Magnetic ﬁelds as small as
10
−11
gauss can be detected.
(e) Hall eﬀect. When a metallic or semiconductor sample with electric
current is placed in a uniform magnetic ﬁeld which is perpendicular to the
current, a steady transverse electric ﬁeld perpendicular to both the current
and the magnetic ﬁeld will be induced across the sample. This is called the
Hall eﬀect. The uniform magnetic ﬁeld B, electric current density j, and
the Hall electric ﬁeld E have a simple relation: E = R
H
B j, where the
parameter R
H
is known as the Hall coeﬃcient.
As shown in Fig. 1.50, a rectangular parallelepiped thin sample is placed
in a uniform magnetic ﬁeld B. The Hall coeﬃcient R
H
and the electric
conductivity σ of the sample can be found by measuring the Hall voltage
V
H
, magnetic ﬁeld B, current I, and the dimensions of the sample:
R
H
=
V
H
d
IB
, σ =
Il
Ubd
,
where U is the voltage of the current source. From the measured R
H
and σ, we can deduce the type and density N of the current carriers in a
semiconductor, as well as their mobility µ.
160 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.50
The Hall eﬀect arises from the action of the Lorentz force on the cur
rent carriers. In equilibrium, the magnetic force on the current carriers is
balanced by the force due to the Hall electric ﬁeld:
qE = qv B,
giving
E = v B =
1
Nq
j B.
Hence R
H
=
1
Nq
, where q is the charge of current carriers ([q[ = e),
from which we can determine the type of the semiconductor (p or n type in
accordance with R
H
being positive or negative). The carrier density and
mobility are given by
N =
1
qR
H
,
µ =
σ
Ne
= σ[R
H
[ .
1113
State brieﬂy the importance of each of the following experiments in the
development of atomic physics.
(a) Faraday’s experiment on electrolysis.
(b) Bunsen and Kirchhoﬀ’s experiments with the spectroscope.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 161
(c) J. J. Thomson’s experiments on e/m of particles in a discharge.
(d) Geiger and Marsdens experiment on scattering of αparticles.
(e) Barkla’s experiment on scattering of Xrays.
(f) The FrankHertz experiment.
(g) J. J. Thomson’s experiment on e/m of neon ions.
(h) SternGerlach experiment.
(i) LambRutherford experiment.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Faraday’s experiment on electrolysis was the ﬁrst experiment to
show that there is a natural unit of electric charge e = F/N
a
, where F is
the Faraday constant and N
a
is Avogadro’s number. The charge of any
charged body is an integer multiple of e.
(b) Bunsen and Kirchhoﬀ analyzed the Fraunhofer lines of the solar
spectrum and gave the ﬁrst satisfactory explanation of their origin that
the lines arose from the absorption of light of certain wavelengths by the
atmospheres of the sun and the earth. Their work laid the foundation of
spectroscopy and resulted in the discovery of the elements rubidium and
cesium.
(c) J. J. Thomson discovered the electron by measuring directly the e/m
ratio of cathode rays. It marked the beginning of our understanding of the
atomic structure.
(d) Geiger and Marsden’s experiment on the scattering of αparticles
formed the experimental basis of Rutherfold’s atomic model.
(e) Barkla’s experiment on scattering of Xrays led to the discovery of
characteristic Xray spectra of elements which provide an important means
for studying atomic structure.
(f) The FrankHertz experiment on inelastic scattering of electrons by
atoms established the existence of discrete energy levels in atoms.
(g) J. J. Thomson’s measurement of the e/m ratio of neon ions led to
the discovery of the isotopes
20
Ne and
22
Ne.
(h) The SternGerlach experiment provided proof that there exist only
certain permitted orientations of the angular momentum of an atom.
(i) The LambRutherford experiment provided evidence of interaction
of an electron with an electromagnetic radiation ﬁeld, giving support to the
theory of quantum electrodynamics.
162 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1114
In a SternGerlach experiment hydrogen atoms are used.
(a) What determines the number of lines one sees? What features of the
apparatus determine the magnitude of the separation between the lines?
(b) Make an estimate of the separation between the two lines if the
SternGerlach experiment is carried out with H atoms. Make any reasonable
assumptions about the experimental setup. For constants which you do not
know by heart, state where you would look them up and what units they
should be substituted in your formula.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) A narrow beam of atoms is sent through an inhomogeneous mag
netic ﬁeld having a gradient
dB
dz
perpendicular to the direction of motion
of the beam. Let the length of the magnetic ﬁeld be L
1
, the ﬂight path
length of the hydrogen atoms after passing through the magnetic ﬁeld be
L
2
(Fig. 1.51).
Fig. 1.51
The magnetic moment of ground state hydrogen atom is µ = gµ
B
J =
2µ
B
J. In the inhomogeneous magnetic ﬁeld the gradient
∂B
∂z
i
z
exerts a
force on the magnetic moment F
z
= 2µ
B
M
J
(
∂B
∂z
). As J =
1
2
, M
J
= ±
1
2
and the beam splits into two components.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 163
After leaving the magnetic ﬁeld an atom has acquired a transverse ve
locity
F
z
m
L
1
v
and a transverse displacement
1
2
F
z
m
(
L
1
v
)
2
, where m and v
are respectively the mass and longitudinal velocity of the atom. When the
beam strikes the screen the separation between the lines is
µ
B
L
1
mv
2
(L
1
+ 2L
2
)
1
2
+
1
2
∂B
∂z
.
(b) Suppose L
1
= 0.03 m, L
2
= 0.10 m, dB/dz = 10
3
T/m, v = 10
3
m/s.
We have
d =
0.927 10
−23
0.03
1.67 10
−27
10
6
(0.03 + 2 0.10) 10
3
= 3.8 10
−2
m = 3.8 cm.
1115
Give a brief description of the SternGerlach experiment and answer the
following questions:
(a) Why must the magnetic ﬁeld be inhomogeneous?
(b) How is the inhomogeneous ﬁeld obtained?
(c) What kind of pattern would be obtained with a beam of hydrogen
atoms in their ground state? Why?
(d) What kind of pattern would be obtained with a beam of mercury
atoms (ground state
1
S
0
)? Why?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
For a brief description of the SternGerlach experiment see Pro
blem 1114.
(a) The force acting on the atomic magnetic moment µ in an inhomo
geneous magnetic ﬁeld is
F
z
= −
d
dz
(µBcos θ) = −µ
dB
dz
cos θ ,
where θ is the angle between the directions of µ and B. If the magnetic
ﬁeld were uniform, there would be no force and hence no splitting of the
atomic beam.
164 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) The inhomogeneous magnetic ﬁeld can be produced by nonsym
metric magnetic poles such as shown in Fig. 1.52.
Fig. 1.52
(c) The ground state of hydrogen atom is
2
S
1/2
. Hence a beam of
hydrogen atoms will split into two components on passing through an in
homogeneous magnetic ﬁeld.
(d) As the total angular momentum J of the ground state of Hg is zero,
there will be no splitting of the beam since (2J + 1) = 1.
1116
The atomic number of aluminum is 13.
(a) What is the electronic conﬁguration of Al in its ground state?
(b) What is the term classiﬁcation of the ground state? Use standard
spectroscopic notation (e.g.
4
S
1/2
) and explain all superscripts and sub
scripts.
(c) Show by means of an energylevel diagram what happens to the
ground state when a very strong magnetic ﬁeld (PaschenBack region) is
applied. Label all states with the appropriate quantum numbers and indi
cate the relative spacing of the energy levels.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The electronic conﬁguration of the ground state of Al is
Atomic and Molecular Physics 165
(1s)
2
(2s)
2
(2p)
6
(3s)
2
(3p)
1
.
(b) The spectroscopic notation of the ground state of Al is
2
P
1/2
, where
the superscript 2 is the multiplet number, equal to 2S + 1, S being the
total spin quantum number, the subscript 1/2 is the total angular momen
tum quantum number, the letter P indicates that the total orbital angular
momentum quantum number L = 1.
(c) In a very strong magnetic ﬁeld, LS coupling will be destroyed, and
the spin and orbital magnetic moments interact separately with the external
magnetic ﬁeld, causing the energy level to split. The energy correction in
the magnetic ﬁeld is given by
∆E = −(µ
L
+µ
s
) B = (M
L
+ 2M
s
)µ
B
B,
where
M
L
= 1, 0, −1, M
S
= 1/2, −1/2 .
The
2
P energy level is separated into 5 levels, the spacing of neighboring
levels being µ
B
B. The split levels and the quantum numbers (L, S, M
L
,
M
S
) are shown in Fig. 1.53.
Fig. 1.53
1117
A heated gas of neutral lithium (Z = 3) atoms is in a magnetic ﬁeld.
Which of the following states lie lowest. Give brief physical reasons for your
answers.
(a) 3
2
P
1/2
and 2
2
S
1/2
.
(b) 5
2
S
1/2
and 5
2
P
1/2
.
166 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(c) 5
2
P
3/2
and 5
2
P
1/2
.
(d) Substates of 5
2
P
3/2
.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The energy levels of an atom will be shifted in an external magnetic
ﬁeld B by
∆E = M
J
gµ
B
B,
where g is the Land´e factor, M
J
is the component of the total angular
momentum along the direction of the magnetic ﬁeld B. The shifts are only
∼ 5 10
−5
eV even in a magnetic ﬁeld as strong as 1 T.
(a) 3
2
P
1/2
is higher than 2
2
S
1/2
(energy diﬀerence ∼ 1 eV), because the
principal quantum number of the former is larger. Of the
2
S
1/2
states the
one with M
J
= −
1
2
lies lowest.
(b) The state with M
J
= −1/2 of
2
S
1/2
lies lowest. The diﬀerence of
energy between
2
S and
2
P is mainly caused by orbital penetration and is
of the order ∼ 1 eV.
(c) Which of the states
2
P
3/2
and
2
P
1/2
has the lowest energy will de
pend on the intensity of the external magnetic ﬁeld. If the external magnetic
ﬁeld would cause a split larger than that due to LScoupling, then the state
with M
J
= −3/2 of
2
P
3/2
is lowest. Conversely, M
J
= −1/2 of
2
P
1/2
is
lowest.
(d) The substate with M
J
= −3/2 of
2
P
3/2
is lowest.
1118
A particular spectral line corresponding to a J = 1 →J = 0 transition
is split in a magnetic ﬁeld of 1000 gauss into three components separated
by 0.0016
˚
A. The zero ﬁeld line occurs at 1849
˚
A.
(a) Determine whether the total spin is in the J = 1 state by studying
the gfactor in the state.
(b) What is the magnetic moment in the excited state?
(Princeton)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 167
Solution:
(a) The energy shift in an external magnetic ﬁeld B is
∆E = gµ
B
B.
The energy level of J = 0 is not split. Hence the splitting of the line
due to the transition J = 1 →J = 0 is equal to the splitting of J = 1 level:
∆E(J = 1) = hc∆˜ ν = hc
∆λ
λ
2
,
or
g =
hc
µ
B
B
∆λ
λ
2
.
With
∆λ = 0.0016
˚
A,
λ = 1849
˚
A = 1849 10
−8
cm,
hc = 4π 10
−5
eV cm,
µ
B
= 5.8 10
−9
eV Gs
−1
,
B = 10
3
Gs ,
we ﬁnd
g = 1 .
As J = 1 this indicates (Problem 1091(b)) that S = 0, L = 1, i.e., only
the orbital magnetic moment contributes to the Zeeman splitting.
(b) The magnetic moment of the excited atom is
µ
J
= gµ
B
P
J
/ = 1 µ
B
J(J + 1) =
√
2µ
B
.
1119
Compare the weakﬁeld Zeeman eﬀect for the (1s3s)
1
S
0
→(1s2p)
1
P
1
and (1s3s)
3
S
1
→(1s2p)
3
P
1
transitions in helium. You may be qualitative
so long as the important features are evident.
(Wisconsin)
168 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
In a weak magnetic ﬁeld, each energy level of
3
P
1
,
3
S
1
and
1
P
1
is split
into three levels. From the selection rules (∆J = 0, ±1; M
J
= 0, ±1), we
see that the transition (1s3s)
1
S
0
→ (1s2p)
1
P
1
gives rise to three spectral
lines, the transition (1s3s)
3
S
1
→ (1s2p)
3
P
1
gives rise to six spectral lines,
as shown in Fig. 1.54.
Fig. 1.54
The shift of energy in the weak magnetic ﬁeld B is ∆E = gM
J
µ
B
B,
where µ
B
is the Bohr magneton, g is the Land´e splitting factor given by
g = 1 +
J(J + 1) −L(L + 1) +S(S + 1)
2J(J + 1)
.
For the above four levels we have
Level (1s3s)
1
S
0
(1s2p)
1
P
1
(1s3s)
3
S
1
(1s2p)
3
P
1
(JLS) (000) (110) (101) (111)
∆E 0 µ
B
B 2µ
B
B 3µ
B
B/2
from which the energies of transition can be obtained.
1120
The inﬂuence of a magnetic ﬁeld on the spectral structure of the promi
nent yellow light (in the vicinity of 6000
˚
A) from excited sodium vapor is
Atomic and Molecular Physics 169
being examined (Zeeman eﬀect). The spectrum is observed for light emitted
in a direction either along or perpendicular to the magnetic ﬁeld.
(a) Describe: (i) The spectrum before the ﬁeld is applied.
(ii) The change in the spectrum, for both directions of observation, after
the ﬁeld is applied.
(iii) What states of polarization would you expect for the components
of the spectrum in each case?
(b) Explain how the above observations can be interpreted in terms of
the characteristics of the atomic quantum states involved.
(c) If you have available a spectroscope with a resolution (λ/δλ) of
100000 what magnetic ﬁeld would be required to resolve clearly the ‘split
ting’ of lines by the magnetic ﬁeld? (Numerical estimates to a factor of two
or so are suﬃcient. You may neglect the line broadening in the source.)
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The spectra with and without magnetic ﬁeld are shown in Fig. 1.55.
Fig. 1.55
170 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(i) Before the magnetic ﬁeld is introduced, two lines can be observed
with wavelengths 5896
˚
A and 5890
˚
A in all directions.
(ii) After introducing the magnetic ﬁeld, we can observe 6σ lines in
the direction of the ﬁeld and 10 lines, 4π lines and 6σ lines in a direction
perpendicular to the ﬁeld.
(iii) The σ lines are pairs of left and right circularly polarized light. The
π lines are plane polarized light.
(b) The splitting of the spectrum arises from quantization of the direc
tion of the total angular momentum. The number of split components is
determined by the selection rule (∆M
J
= 1, 0, −1) of the transition, while
the state of polarization is determined by the conservation of the angular
momentum.
(c) The diﬀerence in wave number of two nearest lines is
∆˜ ν =
[g
1
−g
2
[µ
B
B
hc
=
1
λ
1
−
1
λ
2
≈
δλ
λ
2
,
where g
1
, g
2
are Land´e splitting factors of the higher and lower energy levels.
Hence the magnetic ﬁeld strength required is of the order
B ∼
hcδλ
[g
1
−g
2
[µ
B
λ
2
=
12 10
−5
10
8
1 6 10
−5
10
−5
6000
= 0.3 T .
1121
Discuss qualitatively the shift due to a constant external electric ﬁeld
E
0
of the n = 2 energy levels of hydrogen. Neglect spin, but include the
observed zeroﬁeld splitting W of the 2s and 2p states:
W = E
2s
−E
2p
∼ 10
−5
eV.
Consider separately the cases [e[E
0
a
0
W and [e[E
0
a
0
< W, where
a
0
is the Bohr radius.
(Columbia)
Solution:
Consider the external electric ﬁeld E
0
as perturbation. Then H
=
eE
0
r. Nonzero matrix elements exist only between states [200` and [210`
Atomic and Molecular Physics 171
among the four [n = 2` states [200`, [211`, [210`, [21−1`. Problem 1122(a)
gives
'210[H
[200` ≡ u = −3eE
0
a
0
.
The states [211` and [21 −1` remain degenerate.
(i) For W [e[E
0
a
0
, or W [u[, the perturbation is on nondegenerate
states. There is nonzero energy correction only in second order calculation.
The energy corrections are
E
+
= W +u
2
/W, E
−
= W −u
2
/W .
(ii) For W <[e[E
0
a
0
, or W <[u[, the perturbation is among degener
ate states and the energy corrections are
E
+
= −u = 3eE
0
a
0
, E
−
= u = −3eE
0
a
0
.
1122
A beam of excited hydrogen atoms in the 2s state passes between the
plates of a capacitor in which a uniform electric ﬁeld E exists over a distance
L, as shown in the Fig. 1.56. The hydrogen atoms have velocity v along
the x axis and the E ﬁeld is directed along the z axis as shown.
All the n = 2 states of hydrogen are degenerate in the absence of the E
ﬁeld, but certain of them mix when the ﬁeld is present.
Fig. 1.56
(a) Which of the n = 2 states are connected in ﬁrst order via the
perturbation?
172 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) Find the linear combination of n = 2 states which removes the
degeneracy as much as possible.
(c) For a system which starts out in the 2s states at t = 0, express the
wave function at time t ≤ L/v.
(d) Find the probability that the emergent beam contains hydrogen in
the various n = 2 states.
(MIT)
Solution:
(a) The perturbation Hamiltonian H
= eEr cos θ commutes with
ˆ
l
z
=
−i
∂
∂ϕ
, so the matrix elements of H
between states of diﬀerent m vanish.
There are 4 degenerate states in the n = 2 energy level:
2s : l = 0, m = 0 ,
2p : l = 1, m = 0, ±1 .
The only nonzero matrix element is that between the 2s and 2p(m = 0)
states:
'210[eEr cos θ[200` = eE
ψ
210
(r)r cos θψ
200
(r)d
3
r
=
eE
16a
4
∞
0
1
−1
r
4
2 −
r
a
e
−r/a
cos
2
θd cos θdr
= −3eEa ,
where a is the Bohr radius.
(b) The secular equation determining the energy shift
−λ −3eEa 0 0
−3eEa −λ 0 0
0 0 −λ 0
0 0 0 −λ
= 0
gives
λ = 3eEa , Ψ
(−)
=
1
√
2
(Φ
200
−Φ
210
) ,
λ =−3eEa , Ψ
(+)
=
1
√
2
(Φ
200
+ Φ
210
) ,
λ = 0 , Ψ = Φ
211
, Φ
21−1
.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 173
(c) Let the energy of n = 2 state before perturbation be E
1
. As at t = 0,
Ψ(t = 0) = Φ
200
=
1
√
2
¸
1
√
2
(Φ
200
−Φ
210
) +
1
√
2
(Φ
200
+ Φ
210
)
=
1
√
2
(Ψ
(−)
+ Ψ
(+)
) ,
we have
Ψ(t) =
1
√
2
Ψ
(−)
exp
¸
−
i
(E
1
+ 3eEa)t
+ Ψ
(+)
exp
¸
−
i
(E
1
−3eEa)t
¸
=
¸
Φ
200
cos
3eEat
+ Φ
210
sin
3eEat
exp
−
i
E
1
t
.
(d) When the beam emerges from the capacitor at t = L/v, the proba
bility of its staying in 2s state is
cos
3eEat
exp
−
i
E
1
t
2
= cos
2
3eEat
= cos
2
3eEaL
v
.
The probability of its being in 2p(m = 0) state is
sin
3eEat
exp
−
i
E
1
t
2
= sin
2
3eEat
= sin
2
3eEaL
v
.
The probability of its being in 2p(m = ±1) state is zero.
2. MOLECULAR PHYSICS (1123 1142)
1123
(a) Assuming that the two protons of the H
+
2
molecule are ﬁxed at their
normal separation of 1.06
˚
A, sketch the potential energy of the electron
along the axis passing through the protons.
(b) Sketch the electron wave functions for the two lowest states in
H
+
2
, indicating roughly how they are related to hydrogenic wave functions.
Which wave function corresponds to the ground state of H
+
2
, and why?
174 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(c) What happens to the two lowest energy levels of H
+
2
in the limit
that the protons are moved far apart?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Take the position of one proton as the origin and that of the other
proton at 1.06
˚
A along the xaxis. Then the potential energy of the elec
tron is
V (r
1
, r
2
) = −
e
2
r
1
−
e
2
r
2
,
where r
1
and r
2
are the distances of the electron from the two protons. The
potential energy of the electron along the xaxis is shown in Fig. 1.57.
Fig. 1.57
(b) The molecular wave function of the H
+
2
has the forms
Ψ
S
=
1
√
2
(Φ
1s
(1) + Φ
1s
(2)) ,
Ψ
A
=
1
√
2
(Φ
1s
(1) −Φ
1s
(2)) ,
where Φ(i) is the wave function of an atom formed by the electron and the
ith proton. Note that the energy of Ψ
S
is lower than that of Ψ
A
and so Ψ
S
is the ground state of H
+
2
; Ψ
A
is the ﬁrst excited state. Ψ
S
and Ψ
A
are
linear combinations of 1s states of H atom, and are sketched in Fig. 1.58.
The overlapping of the two hydrogenic wave functions is much larger in the
case of the symmetric wave function Ψ
S
and so the state is called a bonding
state. The antisymmetric wave function Ψ
A
is called an antibonding state.
As Ψ
S
has stronger binding its energy is lower.
Atomic and Molecular Physics 175
Fig. 1.58
(c) Suppose, with proton 1 ﬁxed, proton 2 is moved to inﬁnity, i.e. r
2
→
∞. Then Φ(2) ∼ e
−r
2
/a
→0 and Ψ
S
≈ Ψ
A
≈ Φ(1). The system breaks up
into a hydrogen atom and a noninteracting proton.
1124
Given the radial part of the Schr¨odinger equation for a central force
ﬁeld V (r):
−
2
2µ
1
r
2
d
dr
r
2
dΨ(r)
dr
+
¸
V (r) +
l(l + 1)
2
2µr
2
Ψ(r) = EΨ(r) ,
consider a diatomic molecule with nuclei of masses m
1
and m
2
. A good
approximation to the molecular potential is given by
V (r) = −2V
0
1
ρ
−
1
2ρ
2
,
where ρ = r/a, a with a being some characteristic length parameter.
(a) By expanding around the minimum of the eﬀective potential in the
Schr¨odinger equation, show that for small B the wave equation reduces to
that of a simple harmonic oscillator with frequency
ω =
¸
2V
0
µa
2
(1 +B)
3
1/2
, where B =
l(l + 1)
2
2µa
2
V
0
.
(b) Assuming
2
/2µ a
2
V
0
, ﬁnd the rotational, vibrational and rota
tionvibrational energy levels for small oscillations.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
176 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
(a) The eﬀective potential is
V
eﬀ
=
¸
V (r) +
l(l + 1)
2
2µr
2
= −2V
0
¸
a
r
−
a
2
2r
2
(1 +B)
.
To ﬁnd the position of minimum V
eﬀ
, let
dV
eff
dr
= 0, which gives r = a(1 +
B) ≡ r
0
as the equilibrium position. Expanding V
eﬀ
near r = r
0
and
neglecting terms of orders higher than (
r−r
0
a
)
2
, we have
V
eﬀ
≈ −
V
0
1 +B
+
V
0
(1 +B)
3
a
2
[r −(1 +B)a]
2
.
The radial part of the Schr¨odinger equation now becomes
−
2
2µ
1
r
2
d
dr
r
2
dΨ(r)
dr
+
−
V
0
B + 1
+
V
0
(1 +B)
3
a
2
[r −(1 +B)a]
2
¸
Ψ(r)
= EΨ(r) ,
or, on letting Ψ(r) =
1
r
χ(r), R = r −r
0
,
−
2
2µ
d
2
dR
2
χ(R) +
V
0
(1 +B)
3
a
2
R
2
χ(R) =
E +
V
0
1 +B
χ(R) ,
which is the equation of motion of a harmonic oscillator of angular frequency
ω =
¸
2V
0
µa
2
(1 +B)
3
1/2
.
(b) If
2
/2µ a
2
V
0
, we have
B =
l(l + 1)
2
2µa
2
V
0
1, r
0
≈ Ba ,
ω ≈
2V
0
µa
2
B
3
.
The vibrational energy levels are given by
E
v
= (n + 1/2)ω, n = 1, 2, 3 . . . .
Atomic and Molecular Physics 177
The rotational energy levels are given by
E
r
=
l(l + 1)
2
2µr
0
≈
l(l + 1)
2
2µBa
.
Hence, the vibrationrotational energy levels are given by
E = E
v
+E
r
≈
n +
1
2
ω +
l(l + 1)
2
2µBa
.
1125
A beam of hydrogen molecules travel in the z direction with a kinetic
energy of 1 eV. The molecules are in an excited state, from which they
decay and dissociate into two hydrogen atoms. When one of the dissociation
atoms has its ﬁnal velocity perpendicular to the z direction its kinetic energy
is always 0.8 eV. Calculate the energy released in the dissociative reaction.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
A hydrogen molecule of kinetic energy 1 eV moving with momentum p
0
in the z direction disintegrates into two hydrogen atoms, one of which has
kinetic energy 0.8 eV and a momentum p
1
perpendicular to the z direction.
Let the momentum of the second hydrogen atom be p
2
, its kinetic energy
be E
2
. As p
0
= p
1
+p
2
, the momentum vectors are as shown in Fig. 1.59.
Fig. 1.59
178 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
We have
p
0
=
2m(H
2
)E(H
2
)
=
2 2 938 10
6
1 = 6.13 10
4
eV/c ,
p
1
=
2m(H)E(H)
=
2 938 10
6
0.8 = 3.87 10
4
eV/c .
The momentum of the second hydrogen atom is then
p
2
=
p
2
0
+p
2
1
= 7.25 10
4
eV/c ,
corresponding to a kinetic energy of
E
2
=
p
2
2
2m(H)
= 2.80 eV.
Hence the energy released in the dissociative reaction is 0.8 +2.8 −1 =
2.6 eV.
1126
Interatomic forces are due to:
(a) the mutual electrostatic polarization between atoms.
(b) forces between atomic nuclei.
(c) exchange of photons between atoms.
(CCT)
Solution:
The answer is (a).
1127
Which of the following has the smallest energylevel spacing?
(a) Molecular rotational levels,
(b) Molecular vibrational levels,
(c) Molecular electronic levels.
(CCT)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 179
Solution:
The answer is (a). ∆E
e
> ∆E
v
> ∆E
r
.
1128
Approximating the molecule
1
1
H
17
35
Cl as a rigid dumbbell with an
internuclear separation of 1.2910
−10
m, calculate the frequency separation
of its far infrared spectral lines. (h = 6.6 10
−34
J sec, 1 amu = 1.67
10
−27
kg).
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The moment of inertia of the molecule is
I = µr
2
=
m
Cl
m
H
m
Cl
+m
H
r
2
=
35
36
1.67 10
−27
(1.29 10
−10
)
2
= 2.7 10
−47
kg m
2
The frequency of its far infrared spectral line is given by
ν =
hcBJ(J + 1) −hcBJ(J −1)
h
= 2cBJ ,
where B =
2
/(2Ihc). Hence
ν =
2
Ih
J , and so ∆ν =
2
hI
=
h
4π
2
I
=
6.6 10
−34
4π
2
2.7 10
−47
= 6.2 10
11
Hz .
1129
(a) Recognizing that a hydrogen nucleus has spin 1/2 while a deuterium
nucleus has spin 1, enumerate the possible nuclear spin states for H
2
, D
2
and HD molecules.
(b) For each of the molecules H
2
, D
2
and HD, discuss the rotational
states of the molecule that are allowed for each nuclear spin state.
(c) Estimate the energy diﬀerence between the ﬁrst two rotational levels
for H
2
. What is the approximate magnitude of the contribution of the
180 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
nuclear kinetic energy? The interaction of the two nuclear spins? The
interaction of the nuclear spin with the orbital motion?
(d) Use your answer to (c) above to obtain the distribution of nuclear
spin states for H
2
, D
2
and HD at a temperature of 1 K.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) As s(p) =
1
2
, s(d) = 1, and S = s
1
+s
2
, the spin of H
2
is 1 or 0, the
spin of D
2
is 2, 1 or 0, and the spin of HD is 1/2 or 3/2.
(b) The two nuclei of H
2
are identical, so are the nuclei of D
2
. Hence
the total wave functions of H
2
and D
2
must be antisymmetric with respect
to exchange of particles, while there is no such rule for DH. The total wave
function may be written as Ψ
T
= Ψ
e
Ψ
v
Ψ
r
Ψ
s
, where Ψ
e
, Ψ
v
, Ψ
r
, and Ψ
s
are the electron wave function, nuclear vibrational wave function, nuclear
rotational wave function, and nuclear spin wave function respectively. For
the ground state, the Ψ
e
, Ψ
v
are exchangesymmetric. For the rotational
states of H
2
or D
2
, a factor (−1)
J
will occur in the wave function on
exchanging the two nuclei, where J is the rotational quantum number.
The requirement on the symmetry of the wave function then gives the
following:
H
2
: For S = 1 (Ψ
s
symmetric), J = 1, 3, 5, . . . ;
for S = 0 (Ψ
s
anitsymmetric), J = 0, 2, 4, . . . .
D
2
: For S = 0, 2, J = 0, 2, 4, . . . ; for S = 1, J = 1, 3, 5, . . . .
HD : S =
1
2
,
3
2
; J = 1, 2, 3, . . . (no restriction) .
(c) For H
2
, take the distance between the two nuclei as a ≈ 2a
0
≈ 1
˚
A
a
0
=
2
m
e
e
2
being the Bohr radius. Then I = 2m
p
a
2
0
=
1
2
m
p
a
2
and the
energy diﬀerence between the ﬁrst two rotational states is
∆E =
2
2I
[1 (1 + 1) −0 (0 + 1)] ≈
2
2
m
p
a
2
≈
m
e
m
p
E
0
,
where
E
0
=
2
2
m
e
a
2
=
e
2
2a
0
Atomic and Molecular Physics 181
is the ionization potential of hydrogen. In addition there is a contribution
from the nuclear vibrational energy: ∆E
v
≈ ω. The force between the
nuclei is f ≈ e
2
/a
2
, so that K = [∇f[ ≈
2e
2
a
3
, giving
∆E
0
= ω ≈
K
m
p
=
2e
2
2
m
p
a
3
=
m
e
m
p
e
2
2e
0
=
m
e
m
p
E
0
.
Hence the contribution of the nuclear kinetic energy is of the order of
m
e
m
p
E
0
.
The interaction between the nuclear spins is given by
∆E ≈ µ
2
N
/a
3
≈
e
2m
p
c
2
1
8a
3
0
=
1
16
m
p
c
2
m
e
e
2
2
2
e
2
2a
0
=
1
16
m
e
m
p
2
e
2
c
2
E
0
=
1
16
m
e
m
p
2
α
2
E
0
,
where α =
1
137
is the ﬁne structure constant, and the interaction between
nuclear spin and electronic orbital angular momentum is
∆E ≈ µ
N
µ
B
/a
3
0
≈
1
2
m
e
m
p
α
2
E
0
.
(d) For H
2
, the moment of inertia is I = µa
2
=
1
2
m
p
a
2
≈ 2m
p
a
2
0
, so the
energy diﬀerence between states l = 0 and l = 1 is
∆E
H
2
=
2
2I
(2 −0) =
2m
e
m
p
E
0
.
For D
2
, as the nuclear mass is twice that of H
2
,
∆E
D
2
=
1
2
∆E
H
2
=
m
e
m
p
E
0
.
As kT = 8.7 10
−5
eV for T = 1 K, ∆E ≈
E
0
2000
= 6.8 10
−3
eV, we have
∆E kT and so for both H
2
and D
2
, the condition exp(−∆E/kT) ≈ 0
is satisﬁed. Then from Boltzmann’s distribution law, we know that the H
2
and D
2
molecules are all on the ground state.
The spin degeneracies 2S + 1 are for H
2
, g
s=1
: g
s=0
= 3 : 1; for D
2
,
g
s=2
: g
s=1
: g
s=0
= 5 : 3 : 1; and for HD, g
s=2/3
: g
s=1/2
= 2 : 1. From
182 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
the population ratio g
2
/g
1
, we can conclude that most of H
2
is in the state
of S = 1; most of D
2
is in the states of S = 2 and S = 1, the relative
ratio being 5:3. Twothird of HD is in the state S = 3/2 and onethird in
S = 1/2.
1130
Consider the (homonuclear) molecule
14
N
2
. Use the fact that a nitro
gen nucleus has spin I = 1 in order to derive the result that the ratio of
intensities of adjacent rotational lines in the molecular spectrum is 2:1.
(Chicago)
Solution:
As nitrogen nucleus has spin I = 1, the total wave function of the
molecule must be symmetric. On interchanging the nuclei a factor (−1)
J
will occur in the wave function. Thus when the rotational quantum number
J is even, the energy level must be a state of even spin, whereas a rotational
state with odd J must be associated with an antisymmetric spin state.
Furthermore, we have
g
S
g
A
=
(I + 1)(2I + 1)
I(2I + 1)
= (I + 1)/I = 2 : 1
where g
S
is the degeneracy of spin symmetric state, g
A
is the degeneracy
of spin antisymmetric state. As a homonuclear molecule has only Raman
spectrum for which ∆J = 0, ±2, the symmetry of the wave function does
not change in the transition. The same is true then for the spin function.
Hence the ratio of intensities of adjacent rotational lines in the molecular
spectrum is 2 : 1.
1131
Estimate the lowest neutron kinetic energy at which a neutron, in a
collision with a molecule of gaseous oxygen, can lose energy by exciting
molecular rotation. (The bond length of the oxygen molecule is 1.2
˚
A).
(Wisconsin)
Atomic and Molecular Physics 183
Solution:
The moment of inertia of the oxygen molecule is
I = µr
2
=
1
2
mr
2
,
where r is the bond length of the oxygen molecule, m is the mass of oxygen
atom.
The rotational energy levels are given by
E
J
=
h
2
8π
2
I
J(J + 1), J = 0, 1, 2, . . . .
To excite molecular rotation, the minimum of the energy that must be
absorbed by the oxygen molecule is
E
min
= E
1
−E
0
=
h
2
4π
2
I
=
h
2
2π
2
mr
2
=
2(c)
2
mc
2
r
2
=
2 (1.97 10
−5
)
2
16 938 10
6
(1.2 10
−8
)
2
= 3.6 10
−4
eV.
As the mass of the neutron is much less than that of the oxygen molecule,
the minimum kinetic energy the neutron must possess is 3.6 10
−4
eV.
1132
(a) Using hydrogen atom ground state wave functions (including the
electron spin) write wave functions for the hydrogen molecule which satisfy
the Pauli exclusion principle. Omit terms which place both electrons on
the same nucleus. Classify the wave functions in terms of their total spin.
(b) Assuming that the only potential energy terms in the Hamiltonian
arise from Coulomb forces discuss qualitatively the energies of the above
states at the normal internuclear separation in the molecule and in the limit
of very large internuclear separation.
(c) What is meant by an “exchange force”?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
Figure 1.60 shows the conﬁguration of a hydrogen molecule. For conve
nience we shall use atomic units in which a
0
(Bohr radius) = e = = 1.
(a) The Hamiltonian of the hydrogen molecule can be written in the
form
184 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.60
ˆ
H = −
1
2
(∇
2
1
+∇
2
2
) +
1
r
12
−
1
r
a1
+
1
r
a2
+
1
r
b1
+
1
r
b2
+
1
R
.
As the electrons are indistinguishable and in accordance with Pauli’s
principle the wave function of the hydrogen molecule can be written as
Ψ
S
= [Ψ(r
a1
)Ψ(r
b2
) + Ψ(r
a2
)Ψ(r
b1
)]χ
0
or
Ψ
A
= [Ψ(r
a1
)Ψ(r
b2
) −Ψ(r
a2
)Ψ(r
b1
)]χ
1
,
where χ
0
, χ
1
are spin wave functions for singlet and triplet states respec
tively, ψ(r) =
λ
3/2
√
π
e
−λr
, the parameter λ being 1 for ground state hydrogen
atom.
(b) When the internuclear separation is very large the molecular energy
is simply the sum of the energies of the atoms.
If two electrons are to occupy the same spatial position, their spins must
be antiparallel as required by Pauli’s principle. In the hydrogen molecule
the attractive electrostatic forces between the two nuclei and the electrons
tend to concentrate the electrons between the nuclei, forcing them together
and thus favoring the singlet state. When two hydrogen atoms are brought
closer from inﬁnite separation, the repulsion for parallel spins causes the
tripletstate energy to rise and the attraction for antiparallel spins causes
the singletstate energy to fall until a separation of ∼ 1.5a
0
is reached,
thereafter the energies of both states will rise. Thus the singlet state has
lower energy at normal internuclear separation.
(c) The contribution of the Coulomb force between the electrons to the
molecular energy consists of two parts, one is the Coulomb integral arising
Atomic and Molecular Physics 185
from the interaction of an electron at location 1 and an electron at location
2. The other is the exchange integral arising from the fact that part of the
time electron 1 spends at location 1 and electron 2 at location 2 and part
of the time electron 1 spends at location 2 and electron 2 at location 1.
The exchange integral has its origin in the identity of electrons and Pauli’s
principle and has no correspondence in classical physics. The force related
to it is called exchange force.
The exchange integral has the form
ε =
dτ
1
dτ
2
1
r
12
ψ
∗
(r
a1
)ψ(r
b1
)ψ(r
a2
)ψ
∗
(r
b2
) .
If the two nuclei are far apart, the electrons are distinguishable and the
distinction between the symmetry and antisymmetry of the wave functions
vanishes; so does the exchange force.
1133
(a) Consider the ground state of a dumbbell molecule: mass of each
nucleus = 1.7 10
−24
gm, equilibrium nuclear separation = 0.75
˚
A. Treat
the nuclei as distinguishable. Calculate the energy diﬀerence between the
ﬁrst two rotational levels for this molecule. Take = 1.05 10
−27
erg.sec.
(b) When forming H
2
from atomic hydrogen, 75% of the molecules are
formed in the ortho state and the others in the para state. What is the
diﬀerence between these two states and where does the 75% come from?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The moment of inertia of the molecule is
I
0
= µr
2
=
1
2
mr
2
,
where r is the distance between the nuclei. The rotational energy is
E
J
=
2
2I
0
J(J + 1) ,
with
J =
0, 2, 4, . . . for parahydrogen,
1, 3, 5, . . . for orthohydrogen.
186 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
As
2
2I
=
2
mr
2
=
(c)
2
mc
2
r
2
=
1973
2
9.4 10
8
0.75
2
= 7.6 10
−3
eV,
the diﬀerence of energy between the rotational levels J = 0 and J = 1 is
∆E
0,1
=
2
I
0
= 1.5 10
−2
eV.
(b) The two nuclei of hydrogen molecule are protons of spin
1
2
. Hence
the H
2
molecule has two nuclear spin states I = 1, 0. The states with total
nuclear spin I = 1 have symmetric spin function and are known as ortho
hydrogen, and those with I = 0 have antisymmetric spin function and are
known as parahydrogen.
The ratio of the numbers of ortho H
2
and para H
2
is given by the
degeneracies 2I + 1 of the two spin states:
degeneracy of ortho H
2
degeneracy of para H
2
=
3
1
.
Thus 75% of the H
2
molecules are in the ortho state.
1134
A
7
N
14
nucleus has nuclear spin I = 1. Assume that the diatomic
molecule N
2
can rotate but does not vibrate at ordinary temperatures and
ignore electronic motion. Find the relative abundance of ortho and para
molecules in a sample of nitrogen gas. (Ortho = symmetric spin state; para
= antisymmetric spin state), What happens to the relative abundance as
the temperature is lowered towards absolute zero?
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
The
7
N
14
nucleus is a boson of spin I = 1, so the total wave function of a
system of such nuclei must be symmetric. For the orthonitrogen, which has
symmetric spin, the rotational quantum number J must be an even number
for the total wave function to be symmetric. For the paranitrogen, which
has antisymmetric spin, J must be an odd number.
The rotational energy levels of N
2
are
E
J
=
2
2H
J(J + 1) , J = 0, 1, 2, . . . .
where H is its moment of inertia. Statistical physics gives
Atomic and Molecular Physics 187
population of paranitrogen
population of orthonitrogen
=
¸
even J
(2J + 1) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
J(J + 1)
¸
odd J
(2J + 1) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
J(J + 1)
I + 1
I
,
where I is the spin of a nitrogen nucleus.
If
2
/HRT <1, the sums can be approximated by integrals:
¸
even J
(2J + 1) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
J(J + 1)
=
∞
¸
m=0
(4m+ 1) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
2m(2m+ 1)
=
1
2
∞
0
exp
−
2
x
2HkT
dx =
HkT
2
,
where x = 2m(2m+ 1);
¸
odd J
(2J + 1) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
J(J + 1)
=
∞
¸
m=0
(4m+ 3) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
(2m+ 1)(2m+ 2)
=
1
2
∞
0
exp
−
2
y
2HkT
dy =
HkT
2
exp
−
2
HkT
,
where y = (2m+ 1)(2m+ 2).
Hence
population of paranitrogen
population of orthonitrogen
=
I + 1
I
exp
2
HkT
≈
I + 1
I
=
1 + 1
1
= 2 : 1 .
188 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
For T →0,
2
/HkT 1, then
¸
even J
(2J + 1) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
J(J + 1)
=
∞
¸
m=0
(4m+ 1) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
2m(2m+ 1)
≈ 1 ,
¸
odd J
(2J + 1) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
J(J + 1)
=
∞
¸
m=0
(4m+ 3) exp
¸
−
2
2HkT
(2m+ 1)(2m+ 2)
≈ 3 exp
¸
−
2
HkT
,
retaining the lowest order terms only. Hence
population of paranitrogen
population of orthonitrogen
≈
I + 1
3I
exp
2
HkT
→∞,
which means that the N
2
molecules are all in the para state at 0 K.
1135
In HCl a number of absorption lines with wave numbers (in cm
−1
) 83.03,
103.73, 124.30, 145.03, 165.51, and 185.86 have been observed. Are these
vibrational or rotational transitions? If the former, what is the charac
teristic frequency? If the latter, what J values do they correspond to, and
what is the moment of inertia of HCl? In that case, estimate the separation
between the nuclei.
(Chicago)
Solution:
The average separation between neighboring lines of the given spectrum
is 20.57 cm
−1
. The separation between neighboring vibrational lines is of
the order of 10
−1
eV = 10
3
cm
−1
. So the spectrum cannot originate from
Atomic and Molecular Physics 189
transitions between vibrational energy levels, but must be due to transitions
between rotational levels.
The rotational levels are given by
E =
2
2I
J(J + 1) ,
where J is the rotational quantum number, I is the moment of inertia of
the molecule:
I = µR
2
=
m
Cl
m
H
m
Cl
+m
H
R
2
=
35
36
m
H
R
2
,
µ being the reduced mass of the two nuclei forming the molecule and R
their separation. In a transition J
→J
−1, we have
hc
λ
=
2
2I
[J
(J
+ 1) −(J
−1)J
] =
2
J
I
,
or
˜ ν =
1
λ
=
J
2πIc
.
Then the separation between neighboring rotational lines is
∆˜ ν =
2πIc
,
giving
R =
c
2π
35
36
m
H
c
2
∆˜ ν
¸
¸
¸
¸
1
2
=
19.7 10
−12
2π
35
36
938 20.57
¸
¸
¸
¸
1
2
= 1.29 10
−8
cm = 1.29
˚
A.
As J
=
˜ ν
∆˜ ν
, the given lines correspond to J
= 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 respectively.
1136
When the Raman spectrum of nitrogen (
14
N
14
N) was measured for the
ﬁrst time (this was before Chadwick’s discovery of the neutron in 1932),
190 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
scientists were very puzzled to ﬁnd that the nitrogen nucleus has a spin of
I = 1. Explain
(a) how they could ﬁnd the nuclear spin I = 1 from the Raman spec
trum;
(b) why they were surprised to ﬁnd I = 1 for the nitrogen nucleus.
Before 1932 one thought the nucleus contained protons and electrons.
(Chicago)
Solution:
(a) For a diatomic molecule with identical atoms such as (
14
N)
2
, if each
atom has nuclear spin I, the molecule can have symmetric and antisym
metric total nuclear spin states in the population ratio (I + 1)/I. As the
nitrogen atomic nucleus is a boson, the total wave function of the molecule
must be symmetric. When the rotational state has even J, the spin state
must be symmetric. Conversely when the rotational quantum number J is
odd, the spin state must be antisymmetric. The selection rule for Raman
transitions is ∆J = 0, ±2, so Raman transitions always occur according to
J
even
→J
even
or J
odd
to J
odd
. This means that as J changes by one succes
sively, the intensity of Raman lines vary alternately in the ratio (I + 1)/I.
Therefore by observing the intensity ratio of Raman lines, I may be deter
mined.
(b) If a nitrogen nucleus were made up of 14 protons and 7 electrons
(nuclear charge = 7), it would have a halfinteger spin, which disagrees
with experiments. On the other hand, if a nitrogen nucleus is made up of
7 protons and 7 neutrons, an integral nuclear spin is expected, as found
experimentally.
1137
A molecule which exhibits one normal mode with normal coordinate
Q and frequency Ω has a polarizability α(Q). It is exposed to an applied
incident ﬁeld E = E
0
cos ω
0
t. Consider the molecule as a classical oscillator.
(a) Show that the molecule can scatter radiation at the frequencies ω
0
(Rayleigh scattering) and ω
0
±Ω (ﬁrst order Raman eﬀect).
(b) For which α(Q) shown will there be no ﬁrst order Raman scattering?
Atomic and Molecular Physics 191
(c) Will O
2
gas exhibit a ﬁrst order vibrational Raman eﬀect? Will O
2
gas exhibit a ﬁrst order infrared absorption band? Explain your answer
brieﬂy.
(Chicago)
Fig. 1.61
Solution:
(a) On expanding α(Q) about Q = 0,
α(Q) = α
0
+
dα
dQ
Q=0
Q +
1
2
d
2
α
dQ
2
Q=0
Q
2
+ .
and retaining only the ﬁrst two terms, the dipole moment of the molecule
can be given approximately as
P = αE ≈
¸
α
0
+
dα
dQ
Q=0
Qcos Ωt
¸
E
0
cos ω
0
t
= α
0
E
0
cos ω
0
t +QE
0
dα
dQ
Q=0
1
2
[cos(ω
0
+ Ω)t + cos(ω
0
−Ω)t]
¸
.
As an oscillating dipole radiates energy at the frequency of oscillation, the
molecule not only scatters radiation at frequency ω
0
but also at frequencies
ω
0
±Ω.
(b) The ﬁrst order Raman eﬀect arises from the term involving (
dα
dQ
)
Q=0
.
Hence in case (II) where (
dα
dQ
)
Q=0
= 0 there will be no ﬁrst order Raman
eﬀect.
(c) There will be ﬁrst order Raman eﬀect for O
2
, for which there is a
change of polarizability with its normal coordinate such that (
dα
dQ
)
Q=0
= 0.
192 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
However, there is no ﬁrst order infrared absorption band, because as the
charge distribution of O
2
is perfectly symmetric, it has no intrinsic elec
tric dipole moment, and its vibration and rotation cause no electric dipole
moment change.
1138
Figure 1.62 shows the transmission of light through HCl vapor at room
temperature as a function of wave number (inverse wavelength in units of
cm
−1
) decreasing from the left to the right.
Fig. 1.62
Explain all the features of this transmission spectrum and obtain quan
titative information about HCl. Sketch an appropriate energy level diagram
labeled with quantum numbers to aid your explanation. Disregard the slow
decrease of the top baseline for λ
−1
< 2900 cm
−1
and assume that the top
baseline as shown represents 100% transmission. The relative magnitudes
of the absorption lines are correct.
(Chicago)
Solution:
Figure 1.62 shows the vibrationrotational spectrum of the molecules of
hydrogen with two isotopes of chlorine, H
35
Cl and H
37
Cl, the transition
energy being
Atomic and Molecular Physics 193
E
v,k
= (v + 1/2)hν
0
+
2
k(k + 1)
2I
,
where v, k are the vibrational and rotational quantum numbers respectively.
The selection rules are ∆v = ±1, ∆k = ±1.
Fig. 1.63
The “missing” absorption line at the center of the spectrum shown in
Fig. 1.63 corresponds to k = 0 → k
= 0. This forbidden line is at λ
−1
=
2890 cm
−1
, or ν
0
= cλ
−1
= 8.67 10
13
s
−1
.
From the relation
ν
0
=
1
2π
K
µ
,
where K is the force constant, µ =
35
36
m
H
= 1.62 10
−24
g is the reduced
mass of HCl, we obtain K = 4.8 10
5
erg cm
−2
= 30 eV
˚
A
−2
.
Figure 1.64 shows roughly the potential between the two atoms of
HCl. Small oscillations in r may occur about r
0
with a force constant
K =
d
2
V
dr
2
[
r=r
0
. From the separation of neighboring rotational lines ∆˜ ν =
20.5 cm
−1
, we can ﬁnd the equilibrium atomic separation (Problem 1135)
194 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 1.64
r
0
=
c
2π
36
37
m
H
c
2
∆˜ ν
¸
¸
¸
¸
1
2
= 1.30 10
−8
cm
= 1.30
˚
A.
The Isotope ratio can be obtained from the intensity ratio of the two
series of spectra in Fig. 1.62. For H
35
Cl, µ =
35
36
m
H
, and for H
37
Cl, µ =
37
38
m
H
. As the wave number of a spectral line ˜ ν ∝
1
µ
, the wave number of
a line of H
37
Cl is smaller than that of the corresponding line of H
35
Cl. We
see from Fig. 1.62 that the ratio of the corresponding spectral intensities is
3:1, so the isotope ratio of
35
Cl to
37
Cl is 3:1.
1139
(a) Using the fact that electrons in a molecule are conﬁned to a volume
typical of the molecule, estimate the spacing in energy of the excited states
of the electrons (E
elect
).
(b) As nuclei in a molecule move they distort electronic wave func
tions. This distortion changes the electronic energy. The nuclei oscillate
about positions of minimum total energy, comprising the electron energy
Atomic and Molecular Physics 195
and the repulsive Coulomb energy between nuclei. Estimate the frequency
and therefore the energy of these vibrations (E
vib
) by saying that a nucleus
is in a harmonic oscillator potential.
(c) Estimate the deviations from the equilibrium sites of the nuclei.
(d) Estimate the energy of the rotational excitations (E
rot
).
(e) Estimate the ratio of E
elect
: E
vib
: E
rot
in terms of the ratio of
electron mass to nuclear mass, m
e
/m
n
.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The uncertainty principle pd ≈ gives the energy spacing between
the excited states as E
elect
=
p
2
2m
e
≈
2
2m
e
d
2
, where d, the linear size of the
molecule, is of the same order of magnitude as the Bohr radius a
0
=
2
m
e
e
2
.
(b) At equilibrium, the Coulomb repulsion force between the nuclei is
f ≈
e
2
d
2
, whose gradient is K ≈
f
d
≈
e
2
d
3
. The nuclei will oscillate about the
equilibrium separation with angular frequency
ω =
K
m
≈
m
e
m
e
2
a
0
m
e
d
4
=
m
e
m
m
e
d
2
,
where m is the reduced mass of the atomic nuclei.
Hence
E
vib
= ω ≈
m
e
m
E
elect
.
(c) As
E
vib
=
1
2
mω
2
(∆x)
2
= ω ,
we have
∆x ≈
m
e
m
1
4
d .
(d) The rotational energy is of the order E
rot
≈
2
2I
. With I ≈ md
2
,
we have
E
rot
≈
m
e
m
E
elect
.
(e) As m ≈ m
n
, the nuclear mass, we have
E
elect
: E
vib
: E
rot
≈ 1 :
m
e
m
n
:
m
e
m
n
.
196 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
1140
Sketch the potential energy curve V (r) for the HF molecule as a func
tion of the distance r between the centers of the nuclei, indicating the
dissociation energy on your diagram.
(a) What simple approximation to V (r) can be used near its minimum
to estimate vibrational energy levels? If the zeropoint energy of HF is
0.265 eV, use your approximation (without elaborate calculations) to esti
mate the zeropoint energy of the DF molecule (D = deuteron, F =
19
F).
(b) State the selection rule for electromagnetic transitions between vi
brational levels in HF within this approximation, and brieﬂy justify your
answer. What is the photon energy for these transitions?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Figure 1.65 shows V (r) and the dissociation energy E
d
for the HF
molecule. Near the minimum potential point r
0
, we may use the approxi
mation
Fig. 1.65
V (r) ≈
1
2
k(r −r
0
)
2
.
Thus the motion about r
0
is simple harmonic with angular frequency ω
0
=
k
µ
, µ being the reduced mass of the nuclei. The zeropoint energy is
E
0
=
1
2
ω
0
.
As their electrical properties are the same, DF and HF have the same
potential curve. However their reduced masses are diﬀerent:
Atomic and Molecular Physics 197
µ(DF) =
m(D)m(F)
m(D) +m(F)
=
2 19
2 + 19
u = 1.81u ,
µ(HF) =
m(H)m(F)
m(H) +m(F)
=
1 19
1 + 19
u = 0.95u .
where u is the nucleon mass.
Hence
E
0
(HF)
E
0
(DF)
=
µ(DF)
µ(HF)
and the zeropoint energy of DF is
E
0
(DF) =
µ(HF)
µ(DF)
E
0
(HF) = 0.192 eV.
(b) In the harmonic oscillator approximation, the vibrational energy
levels are given by
E
ν
= (ν + 1/2)ω, ν = 0, 1, 2, 3 . . . .
The selection rule for electromagnetic transitions between these energy
levels is
∆ν = ±1, ±2, ±3, . . . ,
while the selection rule for electric dipole transitions is
∆ν = ±1 .
In general, the electromagnetic radiation emitted by a moving charge
consists of the various electric and magnetic multipole components, each
with its own selection rule ∆ν and parity relationship between the initial
and ﬁnal states. The lowest order perturbation corresponds to electric
dipole transition which requires ∆ν = ±1 and a change of parity.
For purely vibrational transitions, the energy of the emitted photon is
approximately ω
0
∼ 0.1 to 1 eV.
1141
Diatomic molecules such as HBr have excitation energies composed of
electronic, rotational, and vibrational terms.
198 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(a) Making rough approximations, estimate the magnitudes of these
three contributions to the energy, in terms of fundamental physical con
stants such as M, m
e
, e, . . . , where M is the nuclear mass.
(b) For this and subsequent parts, assume the molecule is in its elec
tronic ground state. What are the selection rules that govern radiative
transitions? Justify your answer.
(c) An infrared absorption spectrum for gaseous HBr is shown in
Fig. 1.66. (Infrared absorption involves no electronic transitions.) Use
it to determine the moment of interia I and the vibrational frequency ω
0
for HBr.
Fig. 1.66
(d) Note that the spacing between absorption lines increases with in
creasing energy. Why?
(e) How does this spectrum diﬀer from that of a homonuclear molecule
such as H
2
or D
2
?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Let a denote the linear dimension of the diatomic molecule. As the
valence electron moves in an orbit of linear dimension a, the uncertainty of
momentum is ∆p ≈ /a and so the order of magnitude of the zeropoint
energy is
E
e
≈
(∆p)
2
m
e
≈
2
m
e
a
2
.
A harmonic oscillator with mass m and coeﬃcient of stiﬀness k is used
as model for nuclear vibration. A change of the distance between the two
Atomic and Molecular Physics 199
nuclei will considerably distort the electronic wave function and thus relate
to a change of the electronic energy, i.e. ka
2
≈ E
e
.
Hence
E
vib
≈ ω ≈
k
M
=
m
e
M
2
m
e
a
2
√
ka
2
≈
m
e
M
1
2
E
e
The molecular rotational energy levels are obtained by treating the
molecule as a rotator of moment of inertia I ≈ Ma
2
. Thus
E
rot
≈
2
I
≈
m
e
M
2
m
e
a
2
≈
m
e
M
E
e
.
(b) The selection rules for radiative transitions are ∆J = ±1, ∆v = ±1,
where J is the rotational quantum number, v is the vibrational quantum
number. As the electrons remain in the ground state, there is no transition
between the electronic energy levels. The transitions that take place are
between the rotational or the vibrational energy levels.
(c) From Fig. 1.66 we can determine the separation of neighboring
absorption lines, which is about ∆˜ ν = 18 cm
−1
. As (Problem 1135)
∆˜ ν = 2B, where B =
4πIc
, the moment of inertia is
I =
2πc∆˜ ν
= 3.1 10
−40
g cm
2
.
Corresponding to the missing spectral line in the middle we ﬁnd the
vibrational frequency ν
0
= 3 10
10
2560 = 7.7 10
13
Hz.
(d) Actually the diatomic molecule is not exactly equivalent to a har
monic oscillator. With increasing vibrational energy, the average separation
between the nuclei will become a little larger, or B
v
a little smaller:
B
v
= B
e
−
ν +
1
2
α
e
,
where B
e
is the value B when the nuclei are in the equilibrium positions,
α
e
> 0 is a constant. A transition from E to E
(E < E
) produces an
absorption line of wave number
˜ ν =
E
−E
hc
=
1
hc
[(E
vib
+E
rot
) −(E
vib
+E
rot
)]
= ˜ ν
0
+B
J
(J
+ 1) −BJ(J + 1) .
200 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where B
< B. For the R branch, J
= J + 1, we have
˜ ν
R
= ˜ ν
0
+ (B
+B)J
+ (B
−B)J
2
,
and hence the spectral line separation
∆˜ ν = (B
+B) + (B
−B)(2J
+ 1) ,
where J
= 1, 2, 3 . . . . Hence, when the energy of spectral lines increases,
i.e., J
increases, ∆˜ ν will decrease.
For the P branch, J
= J −1,
˜ ν
P
= ˜ ν
0
−(B
+B)J + (B
−B)J
2
,
∆˜ ν = (B
+B) −(B
−B)(2J + 1) ,
where J = 1, 2, 3 . . . . Thus ∆˜ ν will decrease with increasing spectral line
energy.
(e) Molecules formed by two identical atoms such as H
2
and D
2
have
no electric dipole moment, so the vibration and rotation of these molecules
do not relate to absorption or emission of electricdipole radiation. Hence
they are transparent in the infrared region.
1142
In a recent issue of Science Magazine, G. Zweig discussed the idea of
using free quarks (if they should exist) to catalyze fusion of deuterium. In
an ordinary negative deuterium molecule (ded) the two deuterons are held
together by an electron, which spends most of its time between the two nu
clei. In principle a neutron can tunnel from one proton to the other, making
a tritium plus p + energy, but the separation is so large that the rate is neg
ligible. If the electron is replaced with a massive quark, charge −4e/3, the
separation is reduced and the tunneling rate considerably increased. After
the reaction, the quark generally escapes and captures another deuteron to
make a dQ atom, charge −e/3. The atom decays radiatively to the ground
state, then captures another deuteron in a largen orbit. This again decays
down to the ground state. Fusion follows rapidly and the quark is released
again.
(a) Suppose the quark is much more massive than the deuteron. What
is the order of magnitude of the separation of the deuterons in the ground
state of the dQd molecule?
Atomic and Molecular Physics 201
(b) Write down an expression for the order of magnitude of the time for
a deuteron captured at large radius (large n) in dQ to radiatively settle to
the ground state. Introduce symbols like mass, charge, etc. as needed; do
not evaluate the expression.
(c) Write down the expression for the probability of ﬁnding the neutron
proton separation in a deuteron being r ≥ r
0
, with r
0
10
−13
cm. Again,
introduce symbols like deuteron binding energy as needed, and do not eval
uate the expression.
(d) As a simple model for the tunneling rate suppose that if the neutron
reaches a distance r ≥ r
0
from the proton it certainly is captured by the
other deuteron. Write down an order of magnitude expression for the halﬂife
of dQd (but do not evaluate it).
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The dQd molecule can be considered as H
+
2
ion with the replace
ments m
e
→m, the deuteron mass, nuclear charge e → quark charge −
4
3
e.
Then by analogy with H
+
2
ion, the Hamiltonian for the dQd molecule
can be written as
H =
p
2
1
2m
+
p
2
2
2m
−
4e
2
3r
1
−
4e
2
3r
2
+
e
2
r
12
,
where r
12
= [r
1
−r
2
[, r
1
, r
2
being the radius vectors of the deuterons from
the massive quark.
Assume the wave function of the ground state can be written as
Ψ(r
1
, r
2
) = Ψ
100
(r
1
)Ψ
100
(r
2
) ,
where
Ψ
100
(r) =
1
√
π
a
−3/2
exp
−
r
a
,
with
a =
3
2
4me
2
.
The average separation of the deuterons in the ground state is
¯ r
12
=
1
π
2
a
6
r
12
exp
¸
−
2(r
1
+r
1
)
a
dr
1
dr
1
=
8
5
a =
6
2
5me
2
.
202 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) A hydrogenlike atom of nuclear charge Ze has energy −
Z
2
e
4
m
e
2
2
n
2
. By
analogy the dQd molecule has ground state energy
E = −2
4
3
2
me
4
2
2
+
e
2
r
12
= −
4
3
e
2
a
+
5
8
e
2
a
= −
17
24
e
2
a
.
When n is very large, the molecule can be considered as a hydrogenlike
atom with dQ as nucleus (charge = −
4e
3
+e = −
e
3
) and the second d taking
the place of orbital electron (charge = +e). Accordingly the energy is
E
n
= −
4
6
e
2
a
−
1
3
2
me
4
2
2
n
2
= −
4
6
e
2
a
−
1
6
e
2
a
1
n
2
,
where a
=
3
2
me
2
. Hence when the system settles to the ground state, the
energy emitted is
∆E = E
n
−E
0
= −
4e
2
6a
+
17
24
e
2
a
−
e
2
6a
1
n
2
≈
e
2
24a
.
The emitted photons have frequency
ω =
∆E
≈
e
2
24a
.
The transition probability per unit time is given by
A
n1
=
4e
2
ω
3
3c
3
[r
1n
[
2
,
and so the time for deuteron capture is of the order
τ = 1/A
n1
=
3c
3
4e
2
ω
3
[r
1n
[
2
.
The wave function of the excited state is
Ψ
±
=
1
√
2
[Ψ
100
(r
1
)Ψ
nlm
(r
2
) ±Ψ
100
(r
2
)Ψ
nlm
(r
1
)] ,
which only acts on one d. As
Atomic and Molecular Physics 203
'Ψ
100
[r[Ψ
100
` = 0 ,
we have
r
1n
=
1
√
2
'Ψ
nlm
[r[Ψ
100
`
and hence
τ =
3c
3
2e
2
ω
3
['Ψ
nlm
[r[Ψ
100
`[
2
.
(c) In a deuteron the interaction potential between the proton and neu
tron can be taken to be that shown in Fig. 1.67, where W is the binding
energy and a ≈ 10
−13
cm.
Fig. 1.67
The radial part of the wave function can be shown to satisfy the equation
R
+
1
r
R
+
M
2
[−W −V (r)]R = 0 ,
where M is the mass of the neutron. Let rR = u. The above becomes
u
−
M
2
[W +V (r)]u = 0 .
As V = −V
0
for 0 ≤ r ≤ a and V = 0 otherwise, we have
u
−
M
2
[W −V
0
]u = 0, (r ≤ a) ,
u
−
MW
2
u = 0 , (r ≥ a) .
204 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
The boundary conditions are u[
r=0
= 0 and u[
r→∞
ﬁnite. Satisfying
these the solutions are
u =
Asin(k
1
r), (r ≤ a)
Bexp(−k
2
r), (r ≥ a)
where k
1
=
M
2
(V
0
−W), k
2
=
MW
2
. Continuity of the wave function
at r = a further requires
u =
Asin(k
1
r), (r ≤ a)
Asin(k
1
a) exp[−k
2
(a −r)] . (r ≥ a)
Continuity of the ﬁrst derivative of the wave function at r = a gives
cot(k
1
a) = −k
2
/k
1
.
Hence the probability of ﬁnding r ≥ r
0
is
P =
∞
r
0
r
2
R
2
(r)dr
∞
0
r
2
R
2
(r)dr
=
sin
2
(k
1
a) exp[2k
2
(a −r
0
)]
ak
2
−
k
2
2k
1
sin(2k
1
a) + sin
2
(k
1
a)
≈
sin
2
(k
1
a)
ak
2
exp(−2k
2
r
0
) ,
as r
0
a.
A rough estimate of the probability can be obtained by putting u ≈
C exp(−k
2
r), for which
P =
∞
r
0
exp(−2k
2
r)dr
∞
0
exp(−2k
2
r)dr
= exp(−2k
2
r
0
) .
(d) The neutron has radial velocity
v =
p
M
=
2(V
0
−W)
M
in the potential well. The transition probability per unit time is
λ =
vP
a
,
and so the halﬂife of dQd is given by
τ =
ln2
λ
=
a ln2
vP
≈ a ln2
M
2(V
0
−W)
exp(2k
2
r
0
) .
PART II
NUCLEAR PHYSICS
This Page Intentionally Left Blank
1. BASIC NUCLEAR PROPERTIES (2001 2023)
2001
Discuss 4 independent arguments against electrons existing inside the
nucleus.
(Columbia)
Solution:
First argument  Statistics. The statistical nature of nuclei can be de
duced from the rotational spectra of diatomic molecules. If a nucleus (A,Z)
were to consist of A protons and (AZ) electrons, the spin of an oddodd
nucleus or an oddeven nucleus would not agree with experimental results,
Take the oddodd nucleus
14
N as example. An even number of protons
produce an integer spin while an odd number of electrons produce a half
integer spin, so the total spin of the
14
N nucleus would be a halfinteger,
and so it is a fermion. But this result does not agree with experiments.
Hence, nuclei cannot be composed of protons and electrons.
Second argument  Binding energy. The electron is a lepton and cannot
take part in strong interactions which bind the nucleons together. If elec
trons existed in a nucleus, it would be in a bound state caused by Coulomb
interaction with the binding energy having an order of magnitude
E ≈ −
Ze
2
r
,
where r is the electromagnetic radius of the nucleus, r = 1.2A
1/3
fm. Thus
E ≈ −Z
e
2
c
c
r
= −
197Z
137 1.2A
1/3
≈ −1.20
Z
A
1/3
MeV.
Note that the ﬁne structure constant
α =
e
2
c
=
1
137
.
Suppose A ≈ 124, Z ≈ A/2. Then E ≈ −15 MeV, and the de Brogile
wavelength of the electron would be
λ = /p = c/cp = 197/15 = 13 fm.
As λ > r the electron cannot be bound in the nucleus.
207
208 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Third argument  Nuclear magnetic moment. If the nucleus consists of
neutrons and protons, the nuclear magnetic moment is the sum of the con
tributions of the two kinds of nucleons. While diﬀerent coupling methods
give somewhat diﬀerent results, the nuclear magnetic moment should be
of the same order of magnitude as that of a nucleon, µ
N
. On the other
hand, if the nucleus consisted of protons and electrons, the nuclear mag
netic moment should be of the order of magnitude of the magnetic moment
of an electron, µ
e
≈ 1800µ
N
. Experimental results agree with the former
assumption, and contradict the latter.
Fourth argument  βdecay. Nucleus emits electrons in βdecay, leaving
behind a daughter nucleus. So this is a twobody decay, and the electrons
emitted should have a monoenergetic spectrum. This conﬂicts with the
continuous β energy spectrum found in such decays. It means that, in a
βdecay, the electron is accompanied by some third, neutral particle. This
contracts the assumption that there were only protons and electrons in a
nucleus.
The four arguments above illustrate that electrons do not exist in the
nucleus.
2002
The size of the nucleus can be determined by (a) electron scattering, (b)
energy levels of muonic atoms, or (c) ground state energies of the isotopic
spin multiplet . Discuss what physical quantities are measured in two and
only two of these three experiments and how these quantities are related to
the radius of the nucleus.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
(a) It is the nuclear form factor that is measured in electron scattering
experiments:
F(q
2
) =
(dσ)
exp
(dσ)
point
,
where (dσ)
exp
is the experimental value, (dσ)
point
is the theoretical value
obtained by considering the nucleus as a point. With ﬁrst order Born
approximation, we have
Nuclear Physics 209
F(q
2
) =
ρ(r)e
iq·r
d
3
r .
Assuming ρ(r) = ρ(r) and q r <1, we have
F(q
2
) ≈
ρ(r)
¸
1 +
1
2
(iq r)
2
d
3
r = 1 −
1
2
ρ(r)(q r)
2
d
3
r
= 1 −
1
c2
ρ(r)q
2
r
2
4πr
2
dr
π
0
1
2
cos
2
θ sinθdθ
= 1 −
1
6
q
2
'r
2
`
with 'r
2
` =
ρ(r)r
2
d
3
r.
By measuring the angular distribution of elastically scattered electrons,
we can deduce F(q
2
), and so obtain the charge distribution ρ(r) as a func
tion of r, which gives a measure of the nuclear size.
(b) We can measure the energy diﬀerences between the excited states
and the ground state of the muonic atom. As the mass of a muon is m
µ
≈
210m
e
, the ﬁrst radius of the muonic atom is a
µ
≈ (1/210)a
0
, where a
0
is the Bohr radius, so that the energy levels of muonic atom are more
sensitive to its nuclear radius. Consider for example the s state, for which
the Hamiltonian is
H = −
1
2m
µ
∇
2
+V (r) .
If the nucleus can be considered as a point charge, then V (r) = V
0
(r) =
−e
2
/r, r being the distance of the muon from the nucleus.
If on the other hand we consider the nuclear charge as being uniformly
distributed in a sphere of radius R, then
V (r) =
−
e
2
2R
3
(3R
2
−r
2
) , 0 < r ≤ R,
−
e
2
r
, r > R.
To obtain the energy shift of the ground state, ∆E, caused by the ﬁnite
size of the nucleus, we take
H
= H −H
0
= V (r) −V
0
(r) =
−
e
2
2R
3
(3R
2
−r
2
) +
e
2
r
, 0 < r ≤ R,
0, r > R,
as perturbation. Then
210 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
∆E = 'Φ
0
[H
[Φ
0
` = 4π
R
0
[Φ
0
[
2
H
r
2
dr ,
where Φ
0
=
1
πa
3
µ
1/2
e
−
r
a
µ
. As R ∼ 10
−12
cm, a
µ
∼ 10
−10
cm, we can
take
R
a
µ
< 1 and hence e
−2r/a
µ
≈
1 −
2r
a
µ
. Then ∆E =
2
5
e
2
2a
µ
R
a
µ
2
,
neglecting terms of order (
R
a
µ
)
3
and higher.
We can measure the energy of the Xrays emitted in the transition from
the ﬁrst excited state to the ground state,
E
X
= (E
1
−E
0
) −
2
5
e
2
a
µ
R
a
µ
2
,
where E
1
and E
0
are eigenvalues of H
0
, i.e. E
1
is the energy level of the ﬁrst
excited state and E
0
is the energy level of the ground state (for a point
charge nucleus). If the diﬀerence between E
X
and (E
1
−E
0
), is known, R
can be deduced.
(c) The nuclear structures of the same isotopic spin multiplet are the
same so that the mass diﬀerence in the multiplet arises from electromag
netic interactions and the protonneutron mass diﬀerence. Thus (Prob
lem 2009)
∆E ≡ [M(Z, A) −M(Z −1, A)]c
2
= ∆E
e
−(m
n
−m
p
)c
2
=
3e
2
5R
[Z
2
−(Z −1)
2
] −(m
n
−m
p
)c
2
,
from which R is deduced
It has been found that R ≈ R
0
A
1
3
with R
0
= 1.2 −1.4 fm.
2003
To study the nuclear size, shape and density distribution one employs
electrons, protons and neutrons as probes.
(a) What are the criteria in selecting the probe? Explain.
(b) Compare the advantages and disadvantages of the probes men
tioned above.
Nuclear Physics 211
(c) What is your opinion about using photons for this purpose?
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
(a) The basic criterion for selecting probes is that the de Broglie wave
length of the probe is less than or equal to the size of the object being
studied. Thus λ = h/p ≤ d
n
, or p ≥ h/d
n
, where d
n
is the linear size of
the nucleus. For an eﬀective study of the nuclear density distribution we
require λ <d
n
.
(b) Electrons are a suitable probe to study the nuclear electromagnetic
radius and charge distribution because electrons do not take part in strong
interactions, only in electromagnetic interactions. The results are therefore
easy to analyze. In fact, many important results have been obtained from
electronnucleus scatterings, but usually a high energy electron beam is
needed. For example, take a medium nucleus. As d
n
≈ 10
−13
cm, we require
p
e
≈ /d
n
≈ 0.2 GeV/c, or E
e
≈ pc = 0.2 GeV.
Interactions between protons and nuclei can be used to study the nuclear
structure, shape and distribution. The advantage is that proton beams of
high ﬂux and suitable parameters are readily available. The disadvantage
is that both electromagnetic and strong interactions are present in proton
nucleus scatterings and the results are rather complex to analyse.
Neutrons as a probe are in principle much ‘neater’ than protons, How
ever, it is much more diﬃcult to generate neutron beams of high energy and
suitable parameters. Also detection and measurements are more diﬃcult
for neutrons.
(c) If photons are used as probe to study nuclear structure, the high
energy photons that must be used to interest with nuclei would show a
hadronlike character and complicate the problem.
2004
Consider a deformed nucleus (shape of an ellipsoid, long axis 10% longer
than short axis). If you compute the electric potential at the ﬁrst Bohr
radius, what accuracy can you expect if you treat the nucleus as a point
charge? Make reasonable estimate; do not get involved in integration.
(Wisconsin)
212 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
Assume the charge distribution in the nucleus is uniform, ellipsoidal and
axially symmetric. Then the electric dipole moment of the nucleus is zero,
and the potential can be written as
V = V
p
+V
q
,
where V
p
= Q/r is the potential produced by the nucleus as a point charge,
V
q
= MQ/r
3
, M being the electric quadrupole moment.
For the ellipsoid nucleus, let the long axis be a = (1 + ε)R, the short
axis be b = (1 − ε/2)R, where ε is the deformed parameter, and R is the
nuclear radius. As a : b = 1.1, we have
3ε
2
= 0.1, or ε = 0.2/3, and so
M =
2
5
(a
2
−b
2
) =
2
5
(a −b)(a +b) =
1.22
15
R
2
.
For a medium nucleus, take A ∼ 125, for which R = 1.2A
1/3
= 6 fm.
Then
∆V =
V
q
V
p
=
M
r
2
=
1.22
15
R
2
r
2
=
1.22
15
6 10
−13
0.53 10
−8
≈ 1 10
−9
,
at the ﬁrst Bohr radius r = 0.53 10
−8
cm. Thus the relative error in the
potential if we treat the nucleus as a point charge is about 10
−9
at the ﬁrst
Bohr orbit.
2005
The precession frequency of a nucleus in the magnetic ﬁeld of the earth
is 10
−1
, 10
1
, 10
3
, 10
5
sec
−1
.
(Columbia)
Solution:
The precession frequency is given by
ω =
geB
2m
N
c
.
With g = 1, e = 4.8 10
−10
esu, c = 3 10
10
cm/s, B ≈ 0.5 Gs, m
N
≈
10
−23
g for a light nucleus, ω =
4.8×0.5×10
−10
2×10
−23
×3×10
10
= 0.4 10
3
s
−1
.
Hence the answer is 10
3
s
−1
.
Nuclear Physics 213
2006
Given the following information for several light nuclei (1 amu =
931.5 MeV) in Table 2.1.
(a) What are the approximate magnetic moments of the neutron,
3
H
1
,
3
He
2
, and
6
Li
3
?
(b) What is the maximumenergy βparticle emitted when
3
H
1
decays
to
3
He
2
?
(c) Which reaction produces more energy, the fusion of
3
H
1
and
3
He
2
or
2
H
1
and
4
He
2
?
(Wisconsin)
Table 2.1
Nuclide J
π
Nuclide mass (amu) magnetic moment (µ
N
)
1
H
1
1/2
+
1.00783 +2.79
2
H
1
1
+
2.01410 +0.86
3
H
1
1/2
+
3.01605 —
3
He
2
1/2
+
3.01603 —
4
He
2
0
+
4.02603 0
6
Li
3
1
+
6.01512 —
Solution:
The nuclear magnetic moment is given by µ = gµ
N
J, where J is the
nuclear spin, g is the Land´e factor, µ
N
is the nuclear magneton. Then from
the table it is seen that
g(
1
H
1
) = 2 2.79 = 5.58, g(
2
H
1
) = 0.86, g(
4
He
2
) = 0 .
When two particles of Land´e factors g
1
and g
2
combine into a new
particle of Land´e factor g, (assuming the orbital angular momentum of
relative motion is zero), then
g =g
1
J(J + 1) +j
1
(j
1
+ 1) −j
2
(j
2
+ 1)
2J(J + 1)
+ g
2
J(J + 1) +j
2
(j
2
+ 1) −j
1
(j
1
+ 1)
2J(J + 1)
,
where J is the spin of the new particle, j
1
and j
2
are the spins of the
constituent particles.
214 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
2
H
1
is the combination of a neutron and
1
H
1
, with J = 1, j
1
= j
2
= 1/2.
Let g
1
= g(n), g
2
= g(
1
H
1
). Then
1
2
g
1
+
1
2
g
2
= g(
2
H
1
), or
g(n) = g
1
= 2(0.86 −2.79) = −3.86 .
According to the singleparticle shell model, the magnetic moment is due
to the last unpaired nucleon. For
3
H, j = 1/2, l = 0, s = 1/2, same as
for
1
H. Thus, g(
3
H) = g(
1
H). Similarly
3
He has an unpaired n so that
g(
3
He) = g(n). Hence
µ(
3
H) = 2.79µ
N
, µ(
3
He) = −1.93µ
N
.
6
Li
3
can be considered as the combination of
4
He
2
and
2
H
1
, with J = 1,
j
1
= 0, j
2
= 1. Hence
g =
2 −2
2 2
g
1
+
2 + 2
2 2
g
2
= g
2
,
or
g(
6
Li
3
) = g(
2
H
1
) = 0.86 .
(a) The approximate values of the magnetic moments of neutron,
3
H
1
,
3
He
2
,
6
Li
3
are therefore
µ(n) = g(n)µ
N
/2 = −1.93µ
N
,
µ(
3
H
1
) = 2.79µ
N
,
µ(
3
He
2
) = −1.93µ
N
,
µ(
6
Li) = g(
6
Li
3
)µ
N
1 = 0.86µ
N
.
(b) The βdecay from
3
H
1
to
3
He is by the interaction
3
H
1
→
3
He
2
+e
−
+ ¯ ν
e
,
where the decay energy is
Q = m(
3
H
1
) −m(
3
He
2
) = 3.01605 −3.01603 = 0.00002 amu
= 2 10
−5
938 10
3
keV = 18.7 keV.
Hence the maximum energy of the βparticle emitted is 18.7 keV.
Nuclear Physics 215
(c) The fusion reaction of
3
H
1
and
3
He
2
,
3
H
1
+
3
He
2
→
6
Li
3
,
releases an energy
Q = m(
3
H
1
) +m(
3
He
2
) −m(
6
Li
3
) = 0.01696 amu = 15.9 MeV.
The fusion reaction of
2
H
1
and
4
He
2
,
2
H
1
+
4
He
2
→
6
Li
3
,
releases an energy
Q
= m(
2
H
1
) +m(
4
He
2
) −m(
6
Li
3
) = 0.02501 amu = 23.5 MeV.
Thus the second fusion reaction produces more energy.
2007
To penetrate the Coulomb barrier of a light nucleus, a proton must have
a minimum energy of the order of
(a) 1 GeV.
(b) 1 MeV.
(c) 1 KeV.
(CCT)
Solution:
The Coulomb barrier of a light nucleus is V = Q
1
Q
2
/r. Let Q
1
≈ Q
2
≈
e, r ≈ 1 fm. Then
V = e
2
/r =
c
r
e
2
c
=
197
1
1
137
= 1.44 MeV.
Hence the answer is (b).
2008
What is the density of nuclear matter in ton/cm
3
?
(a) 0.004.
(b) 400.
(c) 10
9
.
(CCT)
216 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
The linear size of a nucleon is about 10
−13
cm, so the volume per nucleon
is about 10
−39
cm
3
. The mass of a nucleon is about 10
−27
kg = 10
−30
ton,
so the density of nuclear matter is ρ = m/V ≈ 10
−30
/10
−39
= 10
9
ton/cm
3
.
Hence the answer is (c).
2009
(a) Calculate the electrostatic energy of a charge Q distributed uni
formly throughout a sphere of radius R.
(b) Since
27
14
Si and
27
13
Al are “mirror nuclei”, their ground states are
identical except for charge. If their mass diﬀerence is 6 MeV, estimate
their radius (neglecting the protonneutron mass diﬀerence).
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The electric ﬁeld intensity at a point distance r from the center of
the uniformly charged sphere is
E(r) =
Qr
R
3
for r < R,
Q
r
2
for r > R.
The electrostatic energy is
W =
∞
0
1
8π
E
2
dτ
=
Q
2
8π
¸
R
0
r
R
3
2
4πr
2
dr +
∞
R
1
r
4
4πr
2
dr
=
Q
2
2
R
0
r
4
R
6
dr +
∞
R
1
r
2
dr
=
Q
2
2
1
5R
+
1
R
=
3Q
2
5R
.
Nuclear Physics 217
(b) The mass diﬀerence between the mirror nuclei
27
14
Si and
27
13
Al can be
considered as due to the diﬀerence in electrostatic energy:
∆W =
3e
2
5R
(Z
2
1
−Z
2
2
) .
Thus
R =
3e
2
5∆W
(14
2
−13
2
) =
3c
5∆W
e
2
c
(14
2
−13
2
)
=
3 1.97 10
−11
5 6
1
137
(14
2
−13
2
)
= 3.88 10
−11
cm
= 3.88 fm.
2010
The nucleus
27
14
Si decays to its “mirror” nucleus
27
13
Al by positron emis
sion. The maximum (kinetic energy+m
e
c
2
) energy of the positron is
3.48 MeV. Assume that the mass diﬀerence between the nuclei is due to
the Coulomb energy. Assume the nuclei to be uniformly charged spheres of
charge Ze and radius R. Assuming the radius is given by r
0
A
1/3
, use the
above data to estimate r
0
.
(Princeton)
Solution:
27
14
Si →
27
13
Al +β
+
+ν .
If the recoil energy of the nucleus is neglected, the maximum energy of
the positron equals roughly the mass diﬀerence between the nuclei minus
2m
e
c
2
. The Coulomb energy of a uniformly charged sphere is (Problem
2009)
E
e
=
3e
2
Z
2
5R
=
3e
2
5r
0
Z
2
A
−1/3
.
For
27
14
Si and
27
13
Al,
E
e
=
3e
2
5r
0
27
−
1
3
(14
2
−13
2
) =
27e
2
5r
0
= 3.48 + 1.02 = 4.5 MeV,
or
218 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
r
0
=
27e
2
5 4.5
=
27c
5 4.5
e
2
c
=
27 1.97 10
−11
5 4.5 137
= 1.73 10
−13
cm = 1.73 fm.
2011
The binding energy of
90
40
Zr
50
is 783.916 MeV. The binding energy of
90
39
Y
51
is 782.410 MeV. Estimate the excitation energy of the lowest T = 6
isospin state in
90
Zr.
(Princeton)
Solution:
The energy diﬀerence between two members of the same isospin multi
plet is determined by the Coulomb energies and the neutronproton mass
diﬀerence. Thus (Problem 2009)
∆E = E(A, Z + 1) −E(A, Z) = ∆E
e
−(m
n
−m
p
)c
2
=
3e
2
5R
(2Z + 1) −0.78 =
3(2Z + 1)cα
5R
−0.78
=
3(2 39 + 1) 197
5 1.2 90
1/3
137
−0.78
= 11.89 MeV
using R = 1.2A
1/3
fm.
Hence the excitation energy of the T = 6 state of
90
Zr is
E = −782.410 + 11.89 + 783.916 = 13.40 MeV.
2012
The masses of a set of isobars that are members of the same isospin
multiplet can be written as the expectation value of a mass operator with
the form
M = a +bT
z
+cT
2
z
,
Nuclear Physics 219
where a, b, c are constants and T
z
is the operator for the z component of
the isotopic spin.
(a) Derive this formula.
(b) How large must the isospin be in order to test it experimentally?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Members of the same isospin multiplet have the same spinparity
J
p
because of the similarity of their structures. Their mass diﬀerences are
determined by the Coulomb energies and the neutronproton mass diﬀer
ence. Let the nuclear mass number be A, neutron number be N, then
A = Z +N = 2Z −(Z −N) = 2Z −2T
z
. As (Problem 2009)
M =
3e
2
Z
2
5R
+ (m
p
−m
n
)T
z
+M
0
= B
A
2
+T
z
2
+CT
z
+M
0
=
BA
2
4
+BAT
z
+BT
2
z
+CT
z
+M
0
= M
0
+
BA
2
4
+ (C +BA)T
z
+BT
2
z
= a +bT
z
+cT
2
z
with a = M
0
+BA
2
/4, b = C +BA, c = B.
The linear terms in the formula arise from the neutronproton mass
diﬀerence and the Coulomb energy, while the quadratic term is mainly due
to the Coulomb energy.
(b) There are three constants a,b,c in the formula, so three independent
linear equations are needed for their determination. As there are (2T + 1)
multiplets of an isospin T, in order to test the formula experimentally we
require at least T = 1.
2013
Both nuclei
14
7
N and
12
6
C have isospin T = 0 for the ground state. The
lowest T = 1 state has an excitation energy of 2.3 MeV in the case of
220 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
14
7
N and about 15.0 MeV in the case of
12
6
C. Why is there such a marked
diﬀerence? Indicate also the basis on which a value of T is ascribed to such
nuclear states. (Consider other members of the T = 1 triplets and explain
their relationship in terms of systematic nuclear properties.)
(Columbia)
Solution:
The excited states with T = 1 of
12
6
C form an isospin triplet which
consists of
12
5
B,
12
6
C and
12
7
N.
12
5
B and
12
7
N have [T
3
[ = 1, so they are the
ground states of the triplet. Likewise,
14
6
C and
14
8
O are the ground states of
the isospin triplet of the T = 1 excited states of
14
7
N. The binding energies
M −A are given in the table below.
Elements MA (MeV)
12
6
C 0
12
5
B 13.370
14
7
N 2.864
14
6
C 3.020
The energy diﬀerence between two nuclei of an isospin multiplet is
∆E = [M(Z, A) −M(Z −1, A)]c
2
=
3e
2
5R
(2Z −1) −(m
n
−m
p
)c
2
=
3e
2
5R
0
A
1/3
(2Z −1) −0.78
=
3c
5R
0
A
1/3
e
2
c
(2Z −1) −0.78
=
3 197
5 137R
0
A
1/3
(2Z −1) −0.78 MeV.
Taking R
0
≈ 1.4 fm and so
M(
14
N, T = 1) −M(
14
C, T = 1) = 2.5 MeV/c
2
,
M(
12
C, T = 1) −M(
12
B, T = 1) = 2.2 MeV/c
2
,
we have
Nuclear Physics 221
M(
14
N, T = 1) −M(
14
N, T = 0)
= M(
14
N, T = 1) −M(
14
C, T = 1)
+M(
14
C, T = 1) −M(
14
N, T = 0)
= 2.5 + 3.02 −2.86
= 2.66 MeV/c
2
,
M(
12
C, T = 1) −M(
12
C, T = 0)
= M(
12
C, T = 1) −M(
12
B, T = 1)
+M(
12
B, T = 1) −M(
12
C, T = 0)
= 2.2 + 13.37
= 15.5 MeV/c
2
,
which are in agreement with the experiment values 2.3 MeV and 15.0 MeV.
The large diﬀerence between the excitation energies of
12
C and
14
N is due
to the fact that the ground state of
12
C is of an αgroup structure and so
has a very low energy.
The nuclei of an isospin multiplet have similar structures and the same
J
p
. The mass diﬀerence between two isospin multiplet members is de
termined by the diﬀerence in the Coulomb energy of the nuclei and the
neutronproton mass diﬀerence. Such data form the basis of isospin assign
ment. For example
14
O,
14
N
∗
and
14
C belong to the same isospin multiplet
with J
p
= 0
+
and ground states
14
C and
14
O,
14
N
∗
being an exciting state.
Similarly
12
C
∗
,
12
C and
12
B form an isospin multiplet with J
p
= 1
+
, of
which
14
N and
12
B are ground states while
12
C
∗
is an excited state.
2014
(a) Fill in the missing entries in the following table giving the properties
of the ground states of the indicated nuclei. The mass excess ∆M
Z,A
is
deﬁned so that
M
Z,A
= A(931.5 MeV) + ∆M
Z,A
,
222 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where M
Z,A
is the atomic mass, A is the mass member, T and T
z
are the
quantum members for the total isotopic spin and the third component of
isotopic spin. Deﬁne your convention for T
z
.
(b) The wave function of the isobaric analog state (IAS) in
81
Kr is
obtained by operating on the
81
Br ground state wave function with the
isospin upping operator T.
(i) What are J
π
, T, and T
z
for the IAS in
81
Kr?
(ii) Estimate the excitation energy of the IAS in
81
Kr.
(iii) Now estimate the decay energy available for decay of the IAS in
81
Kr by emission of a
neutron, γray, αparticle, β
+
ray.
(iv) Assuming suﬃcient decay energy is available for each decay mode
in (iii), indicate selection rules or other factors which might inhibit decay
by that mode.
(Princeton)
Isotopes Z T
z
T J
p
Mass excess (MeV)
n 0 8.07
1
H 1 7.29
4
He 2 2.43
77
Se 34 1/2
−
−74.61
77
Br 35 3/2
−
−73.24
77
Kr 36 7/2
+
−70.24
80
Br 35 1
+
−76.89
80
Kr 36 −77.90
81
Br 35 3/2
−
−77.98
81
Kr 36 7/2
+
−77.65
81
Rb 37 3/2
−
−77.39
Solution:
(a) The table is completed as shown in the next page.
(b) (i) The isobasic analog state (IAS) is a highly excited state of a
nucleus with the same mass number but with one higher atomic number,
i.e. a state with the same A, the same T, but with T
z
increased by 1. Thus
Nuclear Physics 223
for
81
Br, [T, T
z
` = [11/2, −11/2`, the quantum numbers of the IAS in
81
Kr
are T = 11/2, T
z
= −9/2, J
p
[
81
Kr(IAS)] = J
p
(
81
Br) = 3/2
−
.
Isotopes Z T
z
T J
p
Mass excess (MeV)
n 0 −1/2 1/2 1/2
+
8.07
1
H 1 1/2 1/2 1/2
+
7.29
4
He 2 0 0 0
+
2.43
77
Se 34 −9/2 9/2 1/2
−
−74.61
77
Br 35 −7/2 7/2 3/2
−
−73.24
77
Kr 36 −5/2 5/2 7/2
+
−70.24
80
Br 35 −5 5 1
+
−76.89
80
Kr 36 −4 4 0
+
−77.90
81
Br 35 −11/2 11/2 3/2
−
−77.98
81
Kr 36 −9/2 9/2 7/2
+
−77.65
81
Rb 37 −7/2 7/2 3/2
−
−77.39
(ii) The mass diﬀerence between
81
Br and
81
Kr(IAS) is due to the dif
ference between the Coulomb energies of the nuclei and the neutronproton
mass diﬀerence:
∆M81
Kr(IAS)
= ∆M81
Br
+
3
5
(2Z −1)e
2
R
0
A
1/3
−[m(n) −M(
1
H)]
= ∆M81
Br
+ 0.719
2Z −1
A
1
3
−0.78 MeV,
as R
0
= 1.2 fm, m
n
−m
p
= 0.78 MeV. With Z = 36, A = 81, ∆M81
Br
=
−77.98 MeV, we have ∆M81
Kr(IAS)
= −67.29 MeV.
Hence the excitation energy of
81
Kr(IAS) from the ground state of
81
Kr is
∆E = −67.29 −(−77.65) = 10.36 MeV.
(iii) For the neutrondecay
81
Kr(IAS)→n+
80
Kr,
Q
1
= ∆M81
Kr(IAS)
−∆(n) −∆M80
Kr
= −67.29 −8.07 + 77.90 = 2.54 MeV.
For the γdecay
81
Kr(IAS) →
81
Kr +γ,
Q
2
= ∆M81
Kr(IAS)
−∆M81
Kr
= −67.29 −(−77.65) = 10.36 MeV.
For the αdecay
81
Kr(IAS) →α+
77
Se,
224 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Q
3
=∆M81
Kr(IAS)
−∆M
α
−∆M77
Se
= −67.29 −2.43 −(−74.61) = 4.89 MeV.
For the β
+
decay
81
Kr(IAS) →
81
Br +β
+
+ν
e
,
Q
4
=∆M81
Kr(IAS)
−∆M81
Br
−2m
e
= −67.29 −(−77.98) −1.02 = 9.67 MeV.
(iv)
In the interaction
81
Kr(IAS) →
81
Kr + n
T : 11/2 4
1
2
∆T = 0. As strong interaction requires conservation of T and T
z
, the
interaction is inhibited.
In the interaction
81
Kr(IAS) →
81
Kr +γ
J
p
:
3
2
−
7
2
+
we have ∆J =
3
2
−
7
2
= 2, ∆P = −1; so it can take place through E3 or
M2 type transition.
The interaction
81
Kr(IAS) →
77
Se + α
T : 11/2 9/2 0
T
z
: −9/2 −9/2 0
is inhibited as isospin is not conserved.
The interaction
81
Kr(IAS) →
81
Br + β
+
+ν
e
J
p
: 3/2
−
3
2
−
is allowed, being a mixture of the Fermi type and Gamow–Teller type in
teractions.
2015
Isospin structure of magnetic dipole moment.
Nuclear Physics 225
The magnetic dipole moments of the free neutron and free proton are
−1.913µ
N
and +2.793µ
N
respectively. Consider the nucleus to be a collec
tion of neutrons and protons, having their free moments.
(a) Write down the magnetic moment operator for a nucleus of A nu
cleons.
(b) Introduce the concept of isospin and determine the isoscalar and
isovector operators. What are their relative sizes?
(c) Show that the sum of magnetic moments in nuclear magnetons of
two T = 1/2 mirror nuclei is
J + (µ
p
+µ
n
−1/2)
A
¸
i=l
σ
(i)
z
,
where J is the total nuclear spin and σ
(i)
z
is the Pauli spin operator for a
nucleon.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The magnetic moment operator for a nucleus of A nucleons is
µ =
A
¸
i=l
(g
i
l
l
i
+g
i
s
S
i
) ,
where for neutrons: g
l
= 0, g
s
= 2µ
n
; for protons: g
l
= 1, g
s
= 2µ
p
and S
is the spin operator
1
2
σ.
(b) Charge independence has been found to hold for protons and neu
trons such that, if Coulomb forces are ignored, the p−p, p−n, n−n forces
are identical provided the pair of nucleons are in the same spin and orbital
motions. To account for this, isospin T is introduced such that p and n
have the same T while the z component T
z
in isospin space is T
z
=
1
2
for p
and T
z
= −
1
2
for n. There are four independent operators in isospin space:
scalar operator: unit matrix I =
1 0
0 1
;
vector operators: Pauli matrices, τ
1
=
0 1
1 0
, τ
2
=
0 −i
i 0
,
τ
3
=
1 0
0 −1
.
226 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Let the wave functions of proton and neutron be ψ
p
=
1
0
, ψ
n
=
0
1
respectively, and deﬁne τ
±
= τ
1
±iτ
2
, T = τ/2. Then
T
3
Ψ
p
=
1
2
Ψ
p
, τ
3
Ψ
p
= Ψ
p
,
T
3
Ψ
n
= −
1
2
Ψ
n
, τ
3
Ψ
n
= −Ψ
n
,
T
+
Ψ
n
= Ψ
p
, T
−
Ψ
p
= Ψ
n
.
(c) The mirror nucleus is obtained by changing all the protons of a
nucleus into neutrons and all the neutrons into protons. Thus mirror nuclei
have the same T but opposite T
z
. In other words, for mirror nuclei, if the
isospin quantum numbers of the ﬁrst nucleus are
1
2
,
1
2
, then those of the
second are
1
2
, −
1
2
.
For the ﬁrst nucleus, the magnetic moment operator is
µ
1
=
A
¸
i=1
(g
i
l
l
i
1
+g
i
s
S
i
1
) .
We can write
g
l
=
1
2
(1 +τ
3
), g
s
= (1 +τ
3
)µ
p
+ (1 −τ
3
)µ
n
,
since g
l
ψ
p
= ψ
p
, g
l
ψ
n
= 0, etc. Then
µ
1
=
A
¸
i=1
(1 +τ
i
3
)
2
l
i
1
+
¸
A
¸
i=1
(1 +τ
i
3
)µ
p
+
A
¸
i=1
(1 −τ
i
3
)µ
n
¸
S
i
l
=
1
2
A
¸
i=1
(l
i
1
+S
i
1
) +
µ
p
+µ
n
−
1
2
A
¸
i=1
S
i
1
+
1
2
A
¸
i=1
τ
i
3
[l
i
1
+ 2(µ
p
−µ
n
)S
i
1
] .
Similarly for the other nucleus we have
µ
2
=
1
2
A
¸
i=1
(l
i
2
+S
i
2
) +
µ
p
+µ
n
−
1
2
A
¸
i=1
S
i
2
+
1
2
A
¸
i=1
τ
i
3
[l
i
2
+2(µ
p
−µ
n
)S
i
2
] .
Nuclear Physics 227
As J
i
=
¸
A
i=1
(l
i
+ S
i
), the mirror nuclei have J
1
= J
2
but opposite T
3
values, where T
3
=
1
2
¸
A
i=1
τ
i
3
, S =
1
2
σ.
The observed magnetic moment is µ = 'µ
z
` = 'JJ
z
TT
3
[µ
z
[JJ
z
TT
3
`.
Then for the ﬁrst nucleus:
µ
1
=
JJ
z
1
2
1
2
J
z
2
+
µ
p
+µ
n
−
1
2
1
2
A
¸
i=1
(σ
i
1
)
z
+
1
2
A
¸
i=1
τ
i
3
[l
i
1z
+ 2(µ
p
−µ
n
)S
i
1z
]
JJ
z
1
2
1
2
=
J
z
2
+
1
2
µ
p
+µ
n
−
1
2
A
¸
i=1
(σ
i
1
)
z
+
JJ
z
1
2
1
2
1
2
A
¸
i=1
τ
i
3
[l
i
1z
+ 2(µ
p
−µ
n
)S
i
1z
]
JJ
z
1
2
1
2
,
and for the second nucleus:
µ
2
=
J
z
2
+
1
2
µ
p
+µ
n
−
1
2
A
¸
i=1
(σ
i
1
)
z
+
JJ
z
1
2
−
1
2
1
2
A
¸
i=1
τ
i
3
[l
i
2z
+ 2(µ
p
−µ
n
)S
i
2z
]
JJ
z
1
2
−
1
2
.
The sum of the magnetic moments of the mirror nuclei is
µ
1
+µ
2
= J
z
+
µ
p
+µ
n
−
1
2
A
¸
i=1
σ
i
z
,
as the last terms in the expression for µ
1
and µ
2
cancel each other.
2016
Hard sphere scattering:
Show that the classical cross section for elastic scattering of point par
ticles from an inﬁnitely massive sphere of radius R is isotropic.
(MIT)
228 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
In classical mechanics, in elastic scattering of a point particle from a
ﬁxed surface, the emergent angle equals the incident angle. Thus if a parti
cle moving along the −z direction impinges on a hard sphere of radius R at
a surface point of polar angle θ, it is deﬂected by an angle α = 2θ. As the
impact parameter is b = Rsinθ, the diﬀerential scattering cross section is
dσ
dΩ
=
2πbdb
2π sinαdα
=
R
2
sinθ cos θdθ
4 sinθ cos θdθ
=
R
2
4
,
which is independent of θ, showing that the scattering is isotropic.
2017
A convenient model for the potential energy V of a particle of charge q
scattering from an atom of nuclear charge Q is V = qQe
−αr
/r. Where α
−1
represents the screening length of the atomic electrons.
(a) Use the Born approximation
f = −
1
4π
e
−i∆k·r
2m
2
V (r)d
3
r
to calculate the scattering cross section σ.
(b) How should α depend on the nuclear charge Z?
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) In Born approximation
f = −
m
2π
2
V (r)e
−iq.r
d
3
r ,
where q = k−k
0
is the momentum transferred from the incident particle to
the outgoing particle. We have [q[ = 2k
0
sin
θ
2
, where θ is the angle between
the incident and outgoing particles. As V (r) is spherically symmetric,
f(θ) = −
m
2π
2
∞
0
2π
0
π
0
V (r)e
−i∆kr cos θ
sinθr
2
drdϕdθ
= −
2m
2
∆k
∞
0
V (r) sin(∆kr)rdr
= −
2mQq
2
1
α
2
+ (∆k)
2
.
Nuclear Physics 229
The diﬀerential cross section is
dσ = [f(θ)[
2
dΩ =
4m
2
Q
2
q
2
4
dΩ
[α
2
+ (∆k
2
)]
2
=
m
2
Q
2
q
2
4
4
k
4
0
dΩ
α
2
4k
2
0
+ sin
2 θ
2
2
,
and the total crosssection is
σ =
dσ =
m
2
Q
2
q
2
4
4
k
4
0
2π
0
π
0
sinθdθdϕ
α
2
4k
2
0
+ sin
2 θ
2
2
=
16πm
2
Q
2
q
2
4
α
2
(4k
2
0
+α
2
)
.
(b) α
−1
gives a measure of the size of atoms. As Z increases, the number
of electrons outside of the nucleus as well as the probability of their being
near the nucleus will increase, enhancing the screening eﬀect. Hence α is
an increasing function of Z.
2018
Consider the scattering of a 1keV proton by a hydrogen atom.
(a) What do you expect the angular distribution to look like? (Sketch
a graph and comment on its shape).
(b) Estimate the total cross section. Give a numerical answer in cm
2
,
m
2
or barns, and a reason for your answer.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The diﬀerential cross section for elastic scattering is (Problem 2017)
dσ
dΩ
=
m
2
q
2
Q
2
4
4
k
4
0
1
α
2
4k
4
0
+ sin
θ
2
2
.
For proton and hydrogen nuclues Q = q = e. The screening length can be
taken to be α
−1
≈ R
0
, R
0
being the Bohr radius of hydrogen atom. For an
incident proton of 1 keV; The wave length is
230 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
¯
λ
0
=
√
2µE
=
c
2µc
2
E
=
197
√
1 938 10
−3
= 203 fm.
With α
−1
≈ R
0
= 5.3 10
4
fm,
α
2
4k
2
0
=
¯
λ
0
2α
−1
2
<1 and so
dσ
dΩ
≈
m
2
e
4
4
2
k
2
0
1
sin
4 θ
2
,
which is the Rurthford scattering formula.
The scattering of 1keV protons from hydrogen atom occurs mainly at
small angles (see Fig. 2.1). The probability of large angle scattering (near
headon collision) is very small, showing that hydrogen atom has a very
small nucleus.
Fig. 2.1
(b) As given in Problem 2017,
σ =
16πm
2
e
4
4
α
2
(4k
2
0
+ α
3
)
≈
16πm
2
e
4
4
α
2
4k
2
0
= 4π
¸
mc
2
R
0 ¯
λ
0
c
e
2
c
2
= 4π
938 5.3 10
4
203
197 137
2
= 1.76 10
12
fm
2
= 1.76 10
−14
cm
2
.
Nuclear Physics 231
2019
(a) At a centerofmass energy of 5 MeV, the phase describing the elastic
scattering of a neutron by a certain nucleus has the following values: δ
0
=
30
0
, δ
1
= 10
0
. Assuming all other phase shifts to be negligible, plot dσ/dΩ
as a function of scattering angle. Explicitly calculate dσ/dΩ at 30
0
, 45
0
and 90
0
. What is the total cross section σ?
(b) What does the fact that all of the phase shifts δ
2
, δ
3
. . . are negligible
imply about the range of the potential? Be as quantitative as you can.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The diﬀerential cross section is given by
dσ
dΩ
=
1
k
2
∞
¸
l=0
(2l + 1)e
iδ
l
sinδ
l
P
l
(cos θ)
2
.
Supposing only the ﬁrst and second terms are important, we have
dσ
dΩ
≈
1
k
2
[e
iδ
0
sinδ
0
+ 3e
iδ
1
sinδ
1
cos θ[
2
=
1
k
2
[(cos δ
0
sinδ
0
+ 3 cos δ
1
sinδ
1
cos θ) +i(sin
2
δ
0
+ 3 sin
2
δ
1
cos θ)[
2
=
1
k
2
[sin
2
δ
0
+ 9 sin
2
δ
1
cos
2
θ + 6 sinδ
0
sinδ
1
cos(δ
1
−δ
0
) cos θ]
=
1
k
2
[0.25 + 0.27 cos
2
θ + 0.49 cos θ] ,
where k is the wave number of the incident neutron in the centerofmass
frame. Assume that the mass of the nucleus is far larger than that of the
neutron m
n
. Then
k
2
≈
2m
n
E
2
=
2m
n
c
2
E
(c)
2
=
2 938 5
197
2
10
−30
= 2.4 10
29
m
−2
= 2.4 10
25
cm
−2
.
The diﬀerential cross section for other angles are given in the following
table. The data are plotted in Fig. 2.2 also.
232 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.2
θ 0
0
30
0
45
0
90
0
180
0
k
2
dσ
dΩ
1 0.88 0.73 0.25 0
dσ
dΩ
×10
26
(cm
2
) 4.2 3.7 3.0 1.0 0
The total cross section is
σ =
dσ
dΩ
dΩ =
2π
k
2
π
0
(0.25 + 0.49 cos θ + 0.27 cos
2
θ) sinθdθ
=
4π
k
2
0.25 +
1
3
0.27
= 1.78 10
−25
cm
2
≈ 0.18 b .
(b) The phase shift δ
l
is given by
δ
l
≈ −
2m
n
k
2
∞
0
V (r)J
2
l
(kr)r
2
dr ,
where J
l
is a spherical Bessel function. As the maximum of J
l
(x) occurs
nears x = l, for higher l values J
l
in the region of potential V (r) is rather
small and can be neglected. In other words, δ
2
, δ
3
. . . being negligible means
that the potential range is within R ≈ 1/k. Thus the range of the potential
is R ≈ (2.4 10
25
)
−1/2
= 2 10
−13
cm = 2 fm.
Nuclear Physics 233
2020
Neutrons of 1000 eV kinetic energy are incident on a target composed
of carbon. If the inelastic cross section is 40010
−24
cm
2
, what upper and
lower limits can you place on the elastic scattering cross section?
(Chicago)
Solution:
At 1 keV kinetic energy, only swave scattering is involved. The phase
shift δ must have a positive imaginary part for inelastic process to take
place. The elastic and inelastic cross sections are respectively given by
σ
e
= π
¯
λ
2
[e
2iδ
−1[
2
,
σ
in
= π
¯
λ
2
(1 −[e
2iδ
[
2
) .
The reduced mass of the system is
µ =
m
n
m
c
m
c
+m
n
≈
12
13
m
n
.
For E = 1000 eV,
¯
λ =
√
2µE
=
c
2µc
2
E
=
197
2
12
13
940 10
−3
= 150 fm,
π
¯
λ
2
= 707 10
−24
cm
2
.
As
1 −[e
2iδ
[
2
=
σ
in
π
¯
λ
2
=
400
707
= 0.566 ,
we have
[e
2iδ
[ =
√
1 −0.566 = 0.659 ,
or
e
2iδ
= ±0.659 .
Hence the elastic cross section
σ
e
= π
¯
λ
2
[e
2iδ
−1[
2
has maximum and minimum values
234 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(σ
e
)
max
= 707 10
−24
(−0.659 −1)
2
= 1946 10
−24
cm
2
,
(σ
e
)
min
= 707 10
−24
(0.659 −1)
2
= 82 10
−24
cm
2
.
2021
The study of the scattering of high energy electrons from nuclei has
yielded much interesting information about the charge distributions in nu
clei and nucleons. We shall here consider a simple version in which the
electrons are supposed to have zero spin. We also assume that the nucleus,
of charge Ze, remains ﬁxed in space (i.e., its mass is assumed inﬁnite). Let
ρ(x) denote the charge density in the nucleus. The charge distribution is
assumed to be spherically symmetric but otherwise arbitrary.
Let f
c
(p
i
, p
f
), where p
i
is the initial and p
f
the ﬁnal momentum, be
the scattering amplitude in the ﬁrst Born approximation for the scattering
of an electron from a pointnucleus of charge Ze. Let f(p
i
, p
f
) be the
scattering amplitude of an electron from a real nucleus of the same charge.
Let q = p
i
−p
f
denote the momentum transfer. The quantity F deﬁned by
f(p
i
, p
f
) = F(q
2
)f
c
(p
i
, p
f
)
is called the form factor. It is easily seen that F, in fact, depends on p
i
and
p
f
only through the quantity q
2
.
(a) The form factor F(q
2
) and the Fourier transform of the charge den
sity ρ(x) are related in a very simple manner. State and derive this re
lationship within the framework of the nonrelativistic Schr¨ odinger theory.
The assumption that the electrons are “nonrelativistic” is here made so
that the problem will be simpliﬁed. However, on careful consideration it
will probably be clear that the assumption is irrelevant: the same result
applies in the “relativistic” case of the actual experiment. It is also the case
that the neglect of the electron spin does not aﬀect the essence of what we
are here concerned with.
(b) Figure 2.3 shows some experimental results pertaining to the form
factor for the proton, and we shall regard our theory as applicable to these
data. On the basis of the data shown, compute the rootmeansquare
(charge) radius of the proton. Hint: Note that there is a simple rela
tionship between the rootmeansquare radius and the derivative of F(q
2
)
with respect to q
2
, at q
2
= 0. Find this relationship, and then compute.
(UC, Berkeley)
Nuclear Physics 235
Fig. 2.3
Solution:
(a) In the ﬁrst Born approximation, the scattering amplitude of a high
energy electron from a nucleus is
f(p
i
, p
f
) = −
m
2π
2
V (x)e
iq·x/
d
3
x.
For a nucleus of spherically symmetric charge distribution, the potential at
position x is
V (x) =
ρ(r)Ze
[x −r[
d
3
r .
Thus
f(p
i
, p
f
) = −
m
2π
2
d
3
xe
iq·x/
d
3
r
ρ(r)Ze
[x −r[
= −
m
2π
2
d
3
rρ(r)e
iq·r/
d
3
x
Ze
[x −r[
e
iq·(x−r)/
= −
m
2π
2
d
3
rρ(r)e
iq·r/
d
3
x
Ze
x
e
iq·x
/
.
On the other hand, for a point nucleus we have V (x) =
Ze
x
and so
f
c
(p
i
, p
f
) = −
m
2π
2
Ze
x
e
iq·x/
d
3
x.
Comparing the two equations above we obtain
236 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
f(p
i
, p
f
) = f
c
(p
i
, p
f
)
d
3
rρ(r)e
iq·r/
and hence
F(q
2
) =
d
3
rρ(r)e
iq·r/
.
(b) When q ≈ 0,
F(q
2
) =
ρ(r)e
iq·r/
d
3
r
≈
ρ(r)
¸
1 +iq r/ −
1
2
(q r)
2
/
2
d
3
r
=
ρ(r)d
3
r −
1
2
(ρ(r)q
2
r
2
cos
2
θ/
2
) r
2
sinθdrdθdϕ
= F(0) −
2π
3
q
2
2
r
4
ρ(r)dr ,
i.e.,
F(q
2
) −F(0) = −
2π
3
q
2
2
r
4
ρ(r)dr .
Note that
i
ρ(r)q rd
3
r = 0 as
π
0
cos θ sinθdθ = 0. The meansquare
radius 'r
2
` is by deﬁnition
'r
2
` =
d
3
rρ(r)r
2
= 4π
ρ(r)r
4
dr
= −6
2
F(q
2
) −F(0)
q
2
= −6
2
∂F
∂q
2
q
2
=0
.
From Fig. 2.3,
−
2
∂F
∂q
2
q
2
=0
≈ −
0.8 −1.0
2 −0
10
−26
= 0.1 10
−26
cm
2
Hence 'r
2
` = 0.6 10
−26
cm
2
, or
'r
2
` = 0.77 10
−13
cm, i.e., the root
meansquare proton radius is 0.77 fm.
2022
The total (elastic+inelastic) protonneutron cross section at centerof
mass momentum p = 10 GeV/c is σ = 40 mb.
Nuclear Physics 237
(a) Disregarding nucleon spin, set a lower bound on the elastic center
ofmass protonneutron forward diﬀerential crosssection.
(b) Assume experiments were to ﬁnd a violation of this bound. What
would this mean?
(Chicago)
Solution:
(a) The forward p −n diﬀerential cross section is given by
dσ
dΩ
0
0
= [f(0)[
2
≥ [Imf(0)[
2
=
k
4π
σ
t
2
,
where the relation between Imf(0) and σ
t
is given by the optical theorem.
As k = p/ we have
dσ
dΩ
0
0
≥
pc
4πc
σ
l
2
=
10
4
40 10
−27
4π 1.97 10
−11
2
= 2.6 10
−24
cm
2
= 2.6 b .
(b) Such a result would mean a violation of the optical theorem, hence of
the unitarity of the Smatrix, and hence of the probabilistic interpretation
of quantum theory.
2023
When a 300GeV proton beam strikes a hydrogen target (see Fig. 2.4),
the elastic cross section is maximum in the forward direction. Away from
the exact forward direction, the cross section is found to have a (ﬁrst)
minimum.
(a) What is the origin of this minimum? Estimate at what laboratory
angle it should be located.
(b) If the beam energy is increased to 600 GeV, what would be the
position of the minimum?
(c) If the target were lead instead of hydrogen, what would happen to
the position of the minimum (beam energy= 300 GeV)?
238 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(d) For lead, at what angle would you expect the second minimum to
occur?
(Chicago)
Fig. 2.4
Solution:
(a) The minimum in the elastic cross section arises from the destruc
tive interference of waves resulting from scattering at diﬀerent impact pa
rameters. The wavelength of the incident proton, λ =
h
p
=
2πc
pc
=
2π×1.97×10
−11
300×10
3
= 4.1 10
−16
cm, is much smaller than the size ∼ 10
−13
cm
of the target proton. The ﬁrst minimum of the diﬀraction pattern will oc
cur at an angle θ such that scattering from the center and scattering from
the edge of the target proton are onehalf wavelength out of phase, i.e.,
rθ
min
= λ/2 = 2.1 10
−16
cm.
Thus, if r = 1.0 10
−13
cm, the minimum occurs at 2.1 10
−3
rad.
(b) If E → 600 GeV/c, then λ → λ/2 and θ
min
→ θ
min
/2 i.e., the
minimum will occur at θ
min
= 1.05 10
−3
rad.
(c) For Pb : A = 208, r = 1.1 208
1
3
= 6.5 fm, and we may expect the
ﬁrst minimum to occur at θ
min
= 3.2 10
−4
rad.
(d) At the second minium, scattering from the center and scattering
from the edge are 3/2 wavelengths out of phase. Thus the second minimum
will occur at θ
min
= 3 3.2 10
−4
= 9.6 10
−4
rad.
Nuclear Physics 239
2. NUCLEAR BINDING ENERGY, FISSION AND FUSION
(2024 2047)
2024
The semiempirical mass formula relates the mass of a nucleus, M(A, Z),
to the atomic number Z and the atomic weight A. Explain and justify
each of the terms, giving approximate values for the magnitudes of the
coeﬃcients or constants in each term.
(Columbia)
Solution:
The mass of a nucleus, M(Z, A), is
M(Z, A) = ZM(
1
H) + (A−Z)m
n
−B(Z, A) ,
where B(Z, A) is the binding energy of the nucleus, given by the liquiddrop
model as
B(Z, A) =B
v
+B
s
+B
e
+B
a
+B
p
= a
v
A−a
s
A
2/3
−a
e
Z
2
A
−1/3
−a
a
A
2
−Z
2
A
−1
+a
p
δA
−1/2
,
where B
v
, B
s
, B
e
are respectively the volume and surface energies and the
electrostatic energy between the protons.
As the nuclear radius can be given as r
0
A
−1/3
, r
0
being a constant, B
v
,
which is proportional to the volume of the nucleus, is proportional to A.
Similarly the surface energy is proportional to A
2/3
. The Coulomb energy
is proportional to Z
2
/R, and so to Z
2
A
−1/3
.
Note that B
s
arises because nucleus has a surface, where the nucleons
interact with only, on the average, half as many nucleons as those in the
interior, and may be considered as a correction to B
v
.
B
a
arises from the symmetry eﬀect that for nuclides with mass number
A, nuclei with Z =
A
2
is most stable. A departure from this condition leads
to instability and a smaller binding energy.
Lastly, neutrons and protons in a nucleus each have a tendency to exist
in pairs. Thus nuclides with proton number and neutron number being
eveneven are the most stable; oddodd, the least stable; evenodd or odd
even, intermediate in stability. This eﬀect is accounted for by the pairing
energy B
p
= a
p
δA
−1/2
, where
240 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
δ =
1 for eveneven nucleus,
0 for oddeven or evenodd nucleus,
−1 for oddodd nucleus.
The values of the coeﬃcients can be determined by a combination of theo
retical calculations and adjustments to ﬁt the experimental binding energy
values. These have been determined to be
a
v
= 15.835 MeV, a
s
= 18.33 MeV, a
e
= 0.714 MeV,
a
a
= 92.80 MeV, a
p
= 11.20 MeV.
2025
The nuclear binding energy may be approximated by the empirical ex
pression
B.E. = a
1
A−a
2
A
2/3
−a
3
Z
2
A
−1/3
−a
4
(A−2Z)
2
A
−1
.
(a) Explain the various terms in this expression.
(b) Considering a set of isobaric nuclei, derive a relationship between A
and Z for naturally occurring nuclei.
(c) Use a Fermi gas model to estimate the magnitude of a
4
. You may
assume A = 2Z and that the nuclear radius is R = R
0
A
1/3
.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The terms in the expression represent volume, surface, Coulomb and
symmetry energies, as explained in Problem 2024 (where a
a
= 4a
4
).
(b) For isobaric nuclei of the same A and diﬀerent Z, the stable nuclides
should satisfy
∂(B.E.)
∂Z
= −2A
−1/3
a
3
Z + 4a
4
A
−1
(A−2Z) = 0 ,
giving
Z =
A
2 +
a
3
2a
4
A
2/3
.
With a
3
= 0.714 MeV, a
4
= 23.20 MeV,
Nuclear Physics 241
Z =
A
2 + 0.0154A
2/3
.
(c) A fermi gas of volume V at absolute temperature T = 0 has energy
E =
2V
h
3
4π
5
p
5
0
2m
and particle number
N =
2V
h
3
4π
3
p
3
0
,
where we have assumed that each phase cell can accommodate two particles
(neutrons or protons) of opposite spins. The limiting momentum is then
p
0
= h
3
8π
N
V
1
3
and the corresponding energy is
E =
3
40
3
π
2
3
h
2
m
V
−
2
3
N
5
3
.
For nucleus (A, Z) consider the neutrons and protons as independent gases
in the nuclear volume V . Then the energy of the lowest state is
E =
3
40
3
π
2/3
h
2
m
N
5/3
+Z
5/3
V
2/3
=
3
40
9
4π
2
2/3
h
2
mR
2
0
N
5/3
+Z
5/3
A
2/3
= C
N
5/3
+Z
5/3
A
2/3
,
where V =
4π
3
R
3
0
A, R
0
≈ 1.2 fm, C =
3
40
9
4π
2
2/3
1
mc
2
hc
R
0
2
=
3
40
9
4π
2
2
3
1
940
1238
1.2
2
= 31.7 MeV.
For stable nuclei, N + Z = A, N ≈ Z. Let N =
1
2
A(1 + ε/A), Z =
1
2
A(1 −ε/A), where
ε
A
<1. As
1 +
ε
A
5/3
= 1 +
5ε
3A
+
5ε
2
9A
2
+. . . ,
1 −
ε
A
5/3
= 1 −
5ε
3A
+
5ε
2
9A
2
−. . . ,
242 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
we have
N
5
3
+Z
5
3
≈ 2
A
2
5
3
1 +
5ε
2
9A
2
and
E ≈ 2
−2/3
CA
¸
1 +
5ε
2
9A
2
= 2
−2/3
CA+
5
9
2
−2/3
C
(N −Z)
2
A
.
The second term has the form a
4
(N−Z)
2
A
with
a
4
=
5
9
2
−2/3
C ≈ 11 MeV.
The result is smaller by a factor of 2 from that given in Problem 2024,
where a
4
= a
a
/4 = 23.20 MeV. This may be due to the crudeness of the
model.
2026
The greatest binding energy per nucleon occurs near
56
Fe and is much
less for
238
U. Explain this in terms of the semiempirical nuclear bind
ing theory. State the semiempirical binding energy formula (you need not
specify the values of the various coeﬃcients).
(Columbia)
Solution:
The semiempirical formula for the binding energy of nucleus (A, Z) is
B(Z, A) =B
v
+B
s
+B
e
+B
a
+B
p
= a
v
A−a
s
A
2/3
−a
e
Z
2
A
−1/3
−a
a
A
2
−Z
2
A
−1
+a
p
δA
−1/2
.
The mean binding energy per nucleon is then
ε = B/A = a
v
−a
s
A
−1/3
−a
e
Z
2
A
−4/3
−a
a
1
2
−
Z
A
2
+a
p
δA
−3/2
.
Nuclear Physics 243
Consider the ﬁve terms that contribute to ε. The contribution of the pair
ing energy (the last term) for the same A may be diﬀerent for diﬀerent
combinations of Z, N, though it generally decreases with increasing A.
The contribution of the volume energy, which is proportional to A, is a
constant. The surface energy makes a negative contribution whose abso
lute value decreases with increasing A. The Coulomb energy also makes
a negative contribution whose absolute value increases with A as Z and
A increase together. The symmetry energy makes a negative contribution
too, its absolute value increasing with A because Z/A decreases when A
increases. Adding together these terms, we see that the mean binding en
ergy increases with A at ﬁrst, reaching a ﬂat maximum at A ∼ 50 and then
decreases gradually, as shown in Fig. 2.5.
Fig. 2.5
2027
Draw a curve showing binding energy per nucleon as a function of nu
clear mass. Give values in MeV, as accurately as you can. Where is the
maximum of the curve? From the form of this curve explain nuclear ﬁs
sion and estimate the energy release per ﬁssion of
235
U. What force is
principally responsible for the form of the curve in the upper mass region?
(Wisconsin)
244 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
Figure 2.5 shows the mean binding energy per nucleon as a function of
nuclear mass number A. The maximum occurs at A ∼ 50. As A increases
from 0, the curve rises sharply for A < 30, but with considerable ﬂuctua
tions. Here the internucleon interactions have not reached saturation and
there are not too many nucleons present so that the mean binding energy
increases rapidly with the mass number. But because of the small number
of nucleons, the pairing and symmetry eﬀects signiﬁcantly aﬀect the mean
binding energy causing it to ﬂuctuate.
When A > 30, the mean binding energy goes beyond 8 MeV. As A
increases further, the curve falls gradually. Here, with suﬃcient number
of nucleons, internucleon forces become saturated and so the mean bind
ing energy tends to saturate too. As the number of nucleons increases
further, the mean binding energy decreases slowly because of the eﬀect of
Coulomb repulsion.
In nuclear ﬁssion a heavy nucleus dissociates into two medium nuclei.
From the curve, we see that the products have higher mean binding energy.
This excess energy is released. Suppose the ﬁssion of
235
U produces two
nuclei of A ∼ 117. The energy released is 235 (8.5 −7.6) = 210 MeV.
2028
Is the binding energy of nuclei more nearly proportional to A(= N +Z)
or to A
2
? What is the numerical value of the coeﬃcient involved (state
units). How can this A dependence be understood? This implies an im
portant property of nucleonnucleon forces. What is it called? Why is a
neutron bound in a nucleus stable against decay while a lambda particle in
a hypernucleus is not?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The nuclear binding energy is more nearly proportional to A with a co
eﬃcient of 15.6 MeV. Because of the saturation property of nuclear forces,
a nucleon can only interact with its immediate neighbors and hence with
only a limited number of other nucleons. For this reason the binding en
ergy is proportional to A, rather than to A
2
, which would be the case if
Nuclear Physics 245
the nucleon interacts with all nucleons in the nuclues. Nuclear forces are
therefore shortrange forces.
The underlying cause of a decay is for a system to transit to a state of
lower energy which is, generally, also more stable. A free neutron decays
according to
n →p +e + ¯ ν
and releases an energy
Q = m
n
−m
p
−m
e
= 939.53 −938.23 −0.51 = 0.79 MeV.
The decay of a bound neutron in a nucleus
A
X
N
will result in a nucleus
A
X
N−1
. If the binding energy of
A
X
N−1
is lower than that of
A
X
N
and the
diﬀerence is larger than 0.79 MeV, the decay would increase the system’s en
ergy and so cannot take place. Hence neutrons in many nonβradioactive
nuclei are stable. On the other hand, the decay energy of a Λ
0
particle,
37.75 MeV, is higher than the diﬀerence of nuclear binding energies be
tween the initial and ﬁnal systems, and so the Λparticle in a hypernucleus
will decay.
2029
Figure 2.5 shows a plot of the average binding energy per nucleon E vs.
the mass number A. In the ﬁssion of a nucleus of mass number A
0
(mass
M
0
) into two nuclei A
1
and A
2
(masses M
1
and M
2
), the energy released is
Q = M
0
c
2
−M
1
c
2
−M
2
c
2
.
Express Q in terms of ε(A) and A. Estimate Q for symmetric ﬁssion of a
nucleus with A
0
= 240.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The mass of a nucleus of mass number A is
M = Zm
p
+ (A−Z)m
n
−B/c
2
,
where Z is its charge number, m
p
and m
n
are the proton and neutron
masses respectively, B is the binding energy. As Z
0
= Z
1
+ Z
2
, A
0
=
A
1
+A
2
, and so M
0
= M
1
+M
2
+ (B
1
+B
2
)/c
2
−B
0
/c
2
, we have
Q = M
0
c
2
−M
1
c
2
−M
2
c
2
= B
1
+B
2
−B
0
.
246 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
The binding energy of a nucleus is the product of the average binding
energy and the mass number:
B = ε(A) A.
Hence
Q = B
1
+B
2
−B
0
= A
1
ε(A
1
) +A
2
ε(A
2
) −A
0
ε(A
0
) .
With A
0
= 240, A
1
= A
2
= 120 in a symmetric ﬁssion, we have from
Fig. 2.5
ε(120) ≈ 8.5 MeV, ε(240) ≈ 7.6 MeV.
So the energy released in the ﬁssion is
Q = 120ε(120) + 120ε(120) −240ε(240) ≈ 216 (MeV) .
2030
(a) Construct an energyversusseparation plot which can be used to
explain nuclear ﬁssion. Describe qualitatively the relation of the features
of this plot to the liquiddrop model.
(b) Where does the energy released in the ﬁssion of heavy elements come
from?
(c) What prevents the common elements heavier than iron but lighter
than lead from ﬁssioning spontaneously?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Nuclear ﬁssion can be explained using the curve of speciﬁc binding
energy ε vs. nuclear mass number A (Fig. 2.5). As A increases from 0, the
binding energy per nucleon E, after reaching a broad maximium, decreases
gradually. Within a large range of A, ε ≈ 8 MeV/nucleon. The approximate
linear dependence of the binding energy on A, which shows the saturation
of nuclear forces (Problems 2028), agrees with the liquiddrop model.
(b) As a heavy nucleus dissociates into two medium nuclei in ﬁssion,
the speciﬁc binding energy increases. The nuclear energy released is the
diﬀerence between the binding energies before and after the ﬁssion:
Q = A
1
ε(A
1
) +A
2
ε(A
2
) −Aε(A) ,
Nuclear Physics 247
where A, A
1
and A
2
are respectively the mass numbers of the nuclei before
and after ﬁssion, ε(A
i
) being the speciﬁc binding energy of nucleus A
i
.
(c) Although the elements heavier than iron but lighter than lead can
release energy in ﬁssion if we consider speciﬁc binding energies alone, the
Coulomb barriers prevent them from ﬁssioning spontaneously. This is be
cause the ﬁssion barriers of these nuclei are so high that the probability of
penetration is very small.
2031
Stable nuclei have N and Z which lie close to the line shown roughly in
Fig. 2.6.
(a) Qualitatively, what features determine the shape of this curve.
(b) In heavy nuclei the number of protons is considerably less than the
number of neutrons. Explain.
(c)
14
O(Z = 8, N = 6) has a lifetime of 71 sec. Give the particles in the
ﬁnal state after its decay.
(Wisconsin)
Fig. 2.6
Solution:
(a) Qualitatively, Pauli’s exclusion principle allows four nucleons, 2 pro
tons of opposite spins and 2 neutrons of opposite spins, to occupy the same
energy level, forming a tightly bound system. If a nucleon is added, it
would have to go to the next level and would not be so lightly bound. Thus
the most stable nuclides are those with N = Z.
From binding energy considerations (Problem 2025), A and Z of a
stable nuclide satisfy
248 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Z =
A
2 + 0.0154A
2/3
,
or, as A = N +Z,
N = Z(1 + 0.0154A
2/3
) .
This shows that for light nuclei, N ≈ Z, while for heavy nuclei, N > Z, as
shown in Fig. 2.6.
(b) For heavy nuclei, the many protons in the nucleus cause greater
Coulomb repulsion. To form a stable nucleus, extra neutrons are needed
to counter the Coulomb repulsion. This competes with the protonneutron
symmetry eﬀect and causes the neutronproton ratio in stable nuclei to in
crease with A. Hence the number of protons in heavy nuclei is considerably
less than that of neutrons.
(c) As the number of protons in
14
O is greater than that of neutrons,
and its half life is 71 s, the decay is a β
+
decay
14
O →
14
N +e
+
+ν
e
,
the decay products being
14
N, e
+
, and electronneutrino. Another possible
decay process is by electron capture. However, as the decay energy of
14
O
is very large, (E
max
> 4 MeV), the branching ratio of electron capture is
very small.
2032
The numbers of protons and neutrons are roughly equal for stable lighter
nuclei; however, the number of neutrons is substantially greater than the
number of protons for stable heavy nuclei. For light nuclei, the energy
required to remove a proton or a neutron from the nucleus is roughly the
same; however, for heavy nuclei, more energy is required to remove a proton
than a neutron. Explain these facts, assuming that the speciﬁc nuclear
forces are exactly equal between all pairs of nucleons.
(Columbia)
Solution:
The energy required to remove a proton or a neutron from a stable
nucleus (Z, A) is
S
p
= B(Z, A) −B(Z −1, A−1) ,
or
Nuclear Physics 249
S
n
= B(Z, A) −B(Z, A−1) .
respectively, where B is the binding energy per nucleon of a nuclues. In the
liquiddrop model (Problem 2024), we have
B(Z, A) = a
v
A−a
s
A
2/3
−a
c
Z
2
A
−1/3
−a
a
A
2
−Z
2
A
−1
+a
p
δA
−1/2
.
Hence
S
p
−S
n
= −a
c
(2Z −1)(A−1)
−
1
3
+a
a
(A−2Z)(A−1)
−1
,
where a
c
= 0.714 MeV, a
a
= 92.8 MeV. For stable nuclei (Problem
2025),
Z =
A
2 +
2a
c
a
a
A
2/3
≈
A
2
1 −
a
c
a
a
A
2/3
,
and so
S
p
−S
n
≈
a
c
A−1
¸
A
5/3
−(A−1)
5/3
+
a
c
a
a
A
5/3
(A−1)
2/3
.
For heavy nuclei, A 1 and S
p
− S
n
≈ 5.5 10
−3
A
4/3
. Thus S
p
− S
n
increases with A, i.e., to dissociate a proton from a heavy nucleus needs
more energy than to dissociate a neutron.
2033
All of the heaviest naturallyoccurring radioactive nuclei are basically
unstable because of the Coulomb repulsion of their protons. The mech
anism by which they decrease their size is alphadecay. Why is alpha
decay favored over other modes of disintegration (like proton, deuteron,
or tritonemission, or ﬁssion)? Discuss brieﬂy in terms of
(a) energy release, and
(b) Coulomb barrier to be penetrated.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) A basic condition for a nucleus to decay is that the decay energy is
larger than zero. For heavy nuclei however, the decay energy of proton,
250 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
deuteron or tritonemission is normally less than zero. Take the isotopes
and isotones of
238
95
Am as an example. Consider the ten isotopes of Am. The
protondecay energies are between −3.9 MeV and −5.6 MeV, the deuteron
decay energies are between −7.7 MeV and −9.1 MeV, the tritondecay en
ergies are between −7.6 MeV and −8.7 MeV, while the αdecay energies
are between 5.2 MeV and 6.1 MeV. For the three isotones of
238
95
Am, the
proton, deuteron and tritondecay energies are less than zero while their
αdecay energies are larger than zero. The probability for ﬁssion of a heavy
nucleus is less than that for αdecay also because of its much lower prob
ability of penetrating the Coulomb barrier. Therefore αdecay is favored
over other modes of disintegration for a heavy nucleus.
(b) Figure 2.7 shows the Coulomb potential energy of a nucleus of charge
Z
1
e and a fragment of charge Z
2
e.
Fig. 2.7
Suppose a nucleus is to break up into two fragments of charges Z
1
e and
Z
2
e. The probability of penetrating the Coulomb barrier by a fragment of
energy E
d
is
exp
−
2
R
c
R
¸
2µ
Z
1
Z
2
e
2
r
−E
d
1/2
dr
= exp(−G) ,
where µ is the reduced mass of the system,
R
c
=
Z
1
Z
2
e
2
E
d
,
and
G =
2
√
2µE
d
R
c
R
R
c
r
−1
1/2
dr .
Nuclear Physics 251
Integrating we have
R
c
R
R
c
r
−1dr =R
c
R
c
/R
1
1
p
2
p −1dp
=R
c
¸
−
1
p
p −1 + tan
−1
p −1
R
c
/R
1
≈R
c
¸
π
2
−
R
R
c
1
2
¸
taking
R
c
R
1, and hence
G ≈
2R
c
√
2µE
d
¸
π
2
−
R
R
c
1/2
¸
≈
2Z
1
Z
2
e
2
√
2µ
√
E
d
¸
π
2
−
R
R
c
1/2
¸
.
For ﬁssion, though the energy release is some 50 times larger than that
of αdecay, the reduced mass is 20 times larger and Z
1
Z
2
is 5 times larger.
Then the value of G is 4 times larger and so the barrier penetrating prob
ability is much lower than that for αdecay.
2034
Instability (‘radioactivity’) of atomic nuclei with respect to αparticle
emission is a comparatively common phenomenon among the very heavy
nuclei but protonradioactivity is virtually nonexistent. Explain, with such
relevant quantitative arguments as you can muster, this striking diﬀerence.
(Columbia)
Solution:
An explanation can be readily given in terms of the disintegration en
ergies. In the αdecay of a heavy nucleus (A, Z) the energy release given
by the liquiddrop model (Problem 2024) is
E
d
=M(A, Z) −M(A−4, Z −2) −M(4, 2)
= −B(A, Z) +B(A −4, Z −2) +B(4, 2)
= −a
s
[A
2/3
−(A−4)
2/3
] −a
c
[Z
2
A
−
1
3
−(Z −2)
2
(A−4)
−
1
3
]
252 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
−a
a
¸
A
2
−Z
2
A
−1
−
A−4
2
−Z + 2
2
(A−4)
−1
¸
+B(4, 2) −4a
v
.
For heavy nuclei,
2
Z
<1,
4
A
<1, and the above becomes
E
d
≈
8
3
a
s
A
−1/3
+ 4a
c
ZA
−
1
3
1 −
Z
3A
−a
a
1 −
2Z
A
2
+ 28.3 −4a
v
=48.88A
−1/3
+ 2.856ZA
−1/3
1 −
Z
3A
−92.80
1 −
2Z
A
2
−35.04 MeV.
For stable nuclei we have (Problem 2025)
Z =
A
2 + 0.0154A
2/3
.
E
d
is calculated for such nuclei and plotted as the dashed wave in Fig. 2.8.
Fig. 2.8
For αdecay to take place, we require E
d
> 0. It is seen that E
d
increases
generally with A and is positve when A ≥ 150. Thus only heavy nuclei have
αdecays. The actual values of E
d
for naturally occurring nuclei are shown
as the solid curve in the ﬁgure. It intersects the E
d
= 0 line at A ≈ 140,
where αradioactive isotopes
147
62
Sm,
144
60
Nd are actually observed. For the
protondecay of a heavy nucleus, we have
Nuclear Physics 253
M(A, Z) −M(A−1, Z −1) −M(0, 1)
= −B(A, Z) +B(A−1, Z −1) +B(0, 1)
≈ −B(A, Z) +B(A−1, Z −1) = −ε < 0 ,
where ε is the speciﬁc binding energy and is about 7 MeV for heavy nuclei.
As the decay energy is negative, protondecay cannot take place. How
ever, this consideration is for stable heavy nuclei. For those nuclei far from
stability curve, the neutronproton ratio may be much smaller so that the
binding energy of the last proton may be negative and protonemission
may occur. Quite diﬀerent from neutronemission, protonemission is not a
transient process but similar to αdecay; it has a ﬁnite halflife due to the
Coulomb barrier. As the proton mass is less than the αparticle mass and
the height of the Coulomb barrier it has to penetrate is only half that for
the αparticle, the halflife against pdecay should be much less than that
against αdecay. All protonemitters should also have β
+
radioactivity and
orbitalelectron capture, and their halflives are related to the probabili
ties of such competing proceses. Instances of protonradioactivity in some
isomeric states have been observed experimentally.
2035
(a) Derive argument for why heavy nuclei are αradioactive but stable
against neutronemission.
(b) What methods and arguments are used to determine nuclear radii?
(c) What are the properties that identify a system of nucleons in its
lowest energy state? Discuss the nonclassical properties.
(d) The ﬁssion cross sections of the following uranium (Z = 92) isotopes
for thermal neutrons are shown in the table below.
Isotope σ (barns)
230
U 20
231
U 300
232
U 76
233
U 530
234
U 0
235
U 580
236
U 0
254 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
The fastneutron ﬁssion cross sections of the same isotopes are all of the
order of a few barns, and the evenodd periodicity is much less pronounced.
Explain these facts.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The reason why heavy nuclei only are αradioactive has been dis
cussed in Problems 2033 and 2034. For ordinary nuclei near the β
stability curve, the binding energy of the last neutron is positive so that no
neutronradioactivity exists naturally. However, for neutronrich isotopes
far from the βstability curve, the binding energy may be negative for the
last neutron, and so neutronemission may occur spontaneously. As there
is no Coulomb barrier for neutrons, emission is a transient process. Also,
certain excited states arising from βdecays may emit neutrons. In such
cases, as the neutronemission follows a βdecay the emitted neutrons are
called delayed neutrons. The halflife against delayedneutron emission is
the same as that against the related βdecay.
(b) There are two categories of methods for measuring nuclear radii.
The ﬁrst category makes use of the range of the strong interaction of nu
clear forces by studying the scattering by nuclei of neutrons, protons or α
particles, particularly by measuring the total crosssection of intermediate
energy neutrons. Such methods give the nuclear radius as
R = R
0
A
1/3
, R
0
≈ (1.4 ∼ 1.5) fm.
The other category of methods makes use of the Coulomb interaction
between charged particles and atomic nuclei or that among particles within
a nucleus to get the electromagnetic nuclear radius. By studying the scat
tering between high energy electrons and atomic nuclei, the form factors of
the nuclei may be deduced which gives the electromagnetic nuclear radius.
Assuming mirror nuclei to be of the same structure, their mass diﬀerence
is caused by Coulomb energy diﬀerence and the mass diﬀerence between
neutron and proton. We have (Problem 2010)
∆E =
3
5
e
2
R
(2Z −1) −(m
n
−m
p
)c
2
for the energy diﬀerence between the ground states of the mirror nuclei,
which then gives the electromagnetic nuclear radius R. A more precise
Nuclear Physics 255
method is to study the deviation of µmesic atom from Bohr’s model of
hydrogen atom (problem 1062). Because the Bohr radius of the mesic
atom is much smaller than that of the hydrogen atom, the former is more
sensitive to the value of the electromagnetic nuclear radius, which, by this
method, is
R = R
0
A
1/3
, R
0
≈ 1.1 fm.
Highenergy electron scattering experiments show that charge distribution
within a nucleus is nonuniform.
(c) The ground state of a system of nucleons is identiﬁed by its spin,
parity and isospin quantum numbers.
Spin and parity are determined by those of the last one or two unpaired
nucleons. For the ground state of an eveneven nucleus, J
p
= 0
+
. For an
evenodd nucleus, the nuclear spin and parity are determined by the last
nucleon, and for an oddodd nucleus, by the spinorbit coupling of the last
two nucleons.
The isospin of the nuclear ground state is I =
1
2
[N −Z[.
(d) There is a ﬁssion barrier of about 6 MeV for uranium so that spon
taneous ﬁssion is unlikely and external inducement is required. At the same
time, there is a tendency for neutrons in a nucleus to pair up so that isotopes
with even numbers of neutrons, N, have higher binding energies. When an
uranium isotope with an odd number of neutrons captures a neutron and
becomes an isotope of even N, the excitation energy of the compound nu
cleus is large, suﬃcient to overcome the ﬁssion barrier, and ﬁssion occurs.
On the other hand, when an evenN uranium isotope captures a neutron to
become an isotope of odd N, the excitation energy of the compound nucleus
is small, not suﬃcient to overcome the ﬁssion barrier, and ﬁssion does not
take place. For example, in
235
U +n →
236
U
∗
the excitation energy of the
compound nucleus
236
U
∗
is 6.4 MeV, higher than the ﬁssion barrier of
236
U
of 5.9 MeV, so the probability of this reaction results in a ﬁssion is large.
In
238
U +n →
239
U
∗
, the excitation energy is only 4.8 MeV, lower than the
ﬁssion barrier of 6.2 MeV of
239
U, and so the probability for ﬁssion is low.
Such nuclides require neutrons of higher energies to achieve ﬁssion. When
the neutron energy is higher than a certain threshold, ﬁssion cross section
becomes large and ﬁssion may occur.
Thermal neutrons, which can cause ﬁssion when captured by oddN
uranium isotopes, have long wavelengths and hence large capture cross
sections. Thus the cross sections for ﬁssion induced by thermal neutrons
256 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
are large, in hundreds of barns, for uranium isotopes of odd N. They are
small for isotope of even N.
If a fast neutron is captured by an uranium isotope the excitation energy
of the compound nucleus is larger than the ﬁssion barrier and ﬁssion occurs
irrespective of whether the isotope has an even or an odd number of neu
trons. While fast neutrons have smaller probability of being captured their
ﬁssion cross section, which is of the order of a few barns, do not change with
the evenodd periodicity of the neutron number of the uranium isotope.
2036
The semiempirical mass formula modiﬁed for nuclearshape eccentricity
suggests a binding energy for the nucleus
A
Z
X:
B = αA−βA
2/3
1 +
2
5
ε
2
−γZ
2
A
−
1
3
1 −
1
5
ε
2
,
where α, β, γ = 14, 13, 0.6 MeV and ε is the eccentricity.
(a) Brieﬂy interpret this equation and ﬁnd a limiting condition involving
Z and A such that a nucleus can undergo prompt (unhindered) spontaneous
ﬁssion. Consider
240
94
Pu as a speciﬁc example.
(b) The discovery of ﬁssion shape isomers and the detection of spon
taneous ﬁssion of heavy isotopes from their ground state suggest a more
complicated nuclear potential energy function V (ε). What simple nuclear
excitations can account for the two sets of states of
240
94
Pu shown below
(Fig. 2.9). Discuss similarities and diﬀerences between the two. What are
the implications for V (ε)? Draw a rough sketch of V (ε).
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) In the mass formula, the ﬁrst term represents volume energy, the
second term surface energy, in which the correction
2
5
ε
2
is for deformation
from spherical shape of the nucleus, the third term, the Coulomb energy, in
which the correction
1
5
ε
2
is also for nucleus deformation. Consequent to nu
clear shape deformation, the binding energy is a function of the eccentricity
ε. The limiting condition for stability is
dB
dε
= 0. We have
dB
dε
= −
4β
5
A
2/3
ε +γ
Z
2
A
1/3
2
5
ε =
2
5
εA
2/3
γZ
2
A
−2β
.
Nuclear Physics 257
Fig. 2.9
If
dB
dε
> 0, nuclear binding energy increases with ε so the deformation will
keep on increasing and the nucleus becomes unstable. If
dB
dε
< 0, binding
energy decreases as ε increases so the nuclear shape will tend to that with a
lower ε and the nucleus is stable. So the limiting condition for the nucleus
to undergo prompt spontaneous ﬁssion is
dβ
dε
> 0, or
Z
2
A
≥
2β
γ
= 43.3 .
For
240
Pu,
Z
2
A
= 36.8 < 43.3 and so it cannot undergo prompt sponta
neous ﬁssion; it has a ﬁnite lifetime against spontaneous ﬁssion.
(b) The two sets of energy levels of
240
Pu (see Fig. 2.9) can be inter
preted in terms of collective rotational excitation of the deformed nucleus,
as each set satisﬁes the rotational spectrum relation for the K = 0 rota
tional band
E
I
=
2
2M
[I(I + 1)] .
Both sets of states show characteristics of the rotational spectrums of
eveneven nuclei; they diﬀer in that the two rotational bands correspond to
diﬀerent rotational moments of inertia M. The given data correspond to
258 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
h
2
2J
≈ 7 MeV for the ﬁrst set,
2
2J
≈ 3.3 MeV for the second set. The diﬀerent
moments of inertia suggest diﬀerent deformations. Use of a liquiddrop shell
model gives a potential V (ε) in the form of a twopeak barrier, as shown
in Fig. 2.10. The set of states with the longer lifetime corresponds to the
groundstate rotational band at the ﬁrst minimum of the twopeak potential
barrier. This state has a thicker ﬁssion barrier to penetrate and hence a
longer lifetime (T
1/2
= 1.4 10
11
yr for
240
Pu). The set of rotational band
with the shorter lifetime occurs at the second minimum of the potential
barrier. In this state the ﬁssion barrier to penetrate is thinner, hence the
shorter lifetime (T
1/2
= 4 10
−9
s for
240
Pu). The diﬀerence between
the two rotational bands arises from the diﬀerent deformations; hence the
phenomenon is referred to as nuclear shape isomerism.
Fig. 2.10
2037
Assume a uranium nucleus breaks up spontaneously into two roughly
equal parts. Estimate the reduction in electrostatic energy of the nuclei.
What is the relationship of this to the total change in energy? (Assume
uniform charge distribution; nuclear radius= 1.2 10
−13
A
1/3
cm)
(Columbia)
Solution:
Uranium nucleus has Z
0
= 92, A
0
= 236, and radius R
0
= 1.2
10
−13
A
1/3
0
cm. When it breaks up into to two roughly equal parts, each
part has
Nuclear Physics 259
Z =
1
2
Z
0
, A =
1
2
A
0
, R = 1.2 10
−13
A
1/3
cm.
The electrostatic energy of a sphere of a uniformly distributed charge Q
is
3
5
Q
2
/R, where R is the radius. Then for uranium ﬁssion, the electrostatic
energy reduction is
∆E =
3
5
¸
(Z
0
e)
2
R
0
−2
(Ze)
2
R
=
3 Z
2
0
e
2
5
1
R
0
¸
1 −
1
2
2/3
= 0.222
Z
2
0
R
0
e
2
c
c
=
0.222 92
2
1.2 10
−13
236
1
3
1
137
1.97 10
−11
= 364 MeV.
This reduction is the source of the energy released in uranium ﬁssion.
However, to calculate the actual energy release, some other factors should
also be considered such as the increase of surface energy on ﬁssion.
2038
Estimate (order of magnitude) the ratio of the energy released when
1 g of uranium undergoes ﬁssion to the energy released when 1 g of TNT
explodes.
(Columbia)
Solution:
Fission is related to nuclear forces whose interaction energy is about
1 MeV/nucleon. TNT explosion is related to electromagnetic forces whose
interaction energy is about 1 eV/molecule. As the number of nucleons in
1 g of uranium is of the same order of magnitude as the number of molecules
in 1 g of TNT, the ratio of energy releases should be about 10
6
.
A more precise estimate is as follows. The energy released in the ex
plosion of 1 g of TNT is about 2.6 10
22
eV. The energy released in the
ﬁssion of a uranium nucleus is about 210 MeV. Then the ﬁssion of 1 g of
uranium releases an energy
6.023×10
23
238
210 = 5.3 10
23
MeV. Hence the
ratio is about 2 10
7
.
260 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
2039
The neutron density ρ(x, t) inside a block of U
235
obeys the diﬀerential
equation
∂ρ(x, t)
∂t
= A∇
2
ρ(x, t) +Bρ(x, t) ,
where A and B are positive constants. Consider a block of U
235
in the
shape of a cube of side L. Assume that those neutrons reaching the cube’s
surface leave the cube immediately so that the neutron density at the U
235
surface is always zero.
(a) Brieﬂy describe the physical processes which give rise to the A∇
2
ρ
and the Bρ terms. In particular, explain why A and B are both positive.
(b) There is a critical length L
0
for the sides of the U
235
cube. For
L > L
0
, the neutron density in the cube is unstable and increases exponen
tially with time — an explosion results. For L < L
0
, the neutron density
decreases with time — there is no explosion. Find the critical length L
0
in
terms of A and B.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The term Bρ(x, t), which is proportional to the neutron density,
accounts for the increase of neutron density during nuclear ﬁssion. Bρ(x, t)
represents the rate of increase of the number of neutrons, in a unit volume
at location x and at time t, caused by nuclear ﬁssion. It is proportional
to the number density of neutrons which induce the ﬁssion. As the ﬁssion
of U
235
increases the neutron number, B is positive. The term A∇
2
ρ(x, t)
describes the macroscopic motion of neutrons caused by the nonuniformity
of neutron distribution. As the neutrons generally move from locations of
higher density to locations of lower density, A is positive too.
(b) Take a vertex of the cube as the origin, and its three sides as the x,
y and zaxes. Let ρ(x, t) = f(x, y, z)e
−αt
. Then the diﬀerential equation
becomes
A∇
2
f(x, y, z) + (α +B)f(x, y, z) = 0
with boundary condition
f(x, y, z)[
i=0,L
= 0 , i = x, y, z .
Nuclear Physics 261
Try a solution of the form f = X(x)Y (y)Z(z). Substitution gives
1
X
d
2
X
dx
2
+
1
Y
d
2
Y
dy
2
+
1
Z
d
2
Z
dz
2
+k
2
x
+k
2
y
+k
2
z
= 0 ,
where we have rewritten
α+B
A
= k
2
x
+ k
2
y
+ k
2
z
. The boundary condition
becomes
X(x) = 0 at x = 0, L; Y (y) = 0 at y = 0, L; Z(z) = 0 at z = 0, L.
The last diﬀerentiation equation can be separated into 3 equations:
d
2
X
dx
2
+k
2
x
X = 0 , etc.
The solutions of these equations are
X = C
xi
sin
n
xi
π
L
x
,
Y = C
yj
sin
n
yj
π
L
y
,
Z = C
zk
sin
n
zk
π
L
x
,
with n
xi
, n
yj
, n
zk
= ±1, ±2, ±3 . . . and C
xi
, C
yj
, C
zk
being arbitrary con
stants. Thus
f(x, y, z) =
¸
ijk
C
ijk
sin
n
xi
π
L
x
sin
n
yj
π
L
y
sin
n
zk
π
L
z
,
with
α +B
A
=
π
L
2
(n
2
xi
+n
2
yj
+n
2
zk
) , C
ijk
= C
zi
C
yi
C
zk
.
If α < 0, the neutron density will increase exponentially with time,
leading to instability and possible explosion. Hence the critial length L
0
is
given by
α =
Aπ
2
L
2
0
(n
2
xi
+n
2
yj
+n
2
zk
) −B = 0 ,
or
L
0
= π
A
B
(n
2
xi
+n
2
yj
+n
2
zk
) .
262 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
In particular, for n
xi
= n
yj
= n
zk
= 1,
L
0
= π
3A
B
.
2040
The halflife of U
235
is 10
3
, 10
6
, 10
9
, 10
12
years.
(Columbia)
Solution:
10
9
years. (Halflife of U
235
is 7 10
8
years)
2041
Number of ﬁssion per second in a 100MW reactor is: 10
6
, 10
12
, 10
18
,
10
24
, 10
30
.
(Columbia)
Solution:
Each ﬁssion of uranium nucleus releases about 200 MeV = 32010
−13
J.
So the number of ﬁssions per second in a 100MW reactor is
N =
100 10
6
320 10
−13
= 3 10
18
.
Hence the answer is 10
18
.
2042
Explain brieﬂy the operation of a “breeder” reactor. What physical
constant of the ﬁssion process is a prerequisite to the possibility of “breed
ing”? What important constraint is placed on the choice of materials in
the reactor? In particular, could water be used as a moderator?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
A breeder reactor contains a ﬁssionable material and a nonﬁssionable
one that can be made ﬁssionable by absorbing a neutron. For example,
Nuclear Physics 263
235
U and
238
U. Suppose 3 neutrons are emitted per ﬁssion. One is needed
to induce a ﬁssion in another fuel atom and keep the chain reaction going. If
the other two neutrons can be used to convert two nonﬁssionable atoms into
ﬁssionable ones, then two fuel atoms are produced when one is consumed,
and the reactor is said to be a breeder.
In the example, neutrons from the ﬁssion of
235
U may be used to convert
238
U to ﬁssionable
239
Pu:
n +
238
U →
239
U +γ
[
−→
β
−
239
Np →
β
−
239
Pu
A prerequisite to breeding is that η, the number of neutrons produced per
neutron absorbed in the fuel, should be larger than 2. In the example, this
is achieved by the use of fast neutrons and so no moderator is needed.
2043
(a) Describe brieﬂy the type of reaction on which a nuclear ﬁssion reactor
operates.
(b) Why is energy released, and roughly how much per reaction?
(c) Why are the reaction products radioactive?
(d) Why is a “moderator” necessary? Are light or heavy elements pre
ferred for moderators, and why?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) In nuclear ﬁssion a heavy nucleus disassociates into two medium
nuclei. In a reactor the ﬁssion is induced. It takes place after a heavy
nucleus captures a neutron. For example
n +
235
U →X +Y +n + .
(b) The speciﬁc binding energy of a heavy nucleus is about 7.6 MeV
per nucleon, while that of a medium nucleus is about 8.5 MeV per nucleon.
Hence when a ﬁssion occurs, some binding energies will be released. The
energy released per ﬁssion is about 210 MeV.
(c) Fission releases a large quantity of energy, some of which is in
the form of excitation energies of the fragments. Hence ﬁssion fragments
are in general highly excited and decay through γ emission. In addition,
264 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
the neutrontoproton ratios of the fragments, which are similar to that of
the original heavy nucleus, are much larger than those of stable nuclei of
the same mass. So the fragments are mostly unstable neutronrich isotopes
having strong β
−
radioactivity.
(d) For reactors using
235
U, ﬁssion is caused mainly by thermal neu
trons. However, ﬁssion reaction emits fast neutrons; so some moderator is
needed to reduce the speed of the neutrons. Lighter nuclei are more suit
able as moderator because the energy lost by a neutron per neutronnucleus
collision is larger if the nucleus is lighter.
2044
Give the three nuclear reactions currently considered for controlled ther
monuclear fusion. Which has the largest cross section? Give the approxi
mate energies released in the reactions. How would any resulting neutrons
be used?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
Reactions often considered for controlled thermonuclear fusion are
D +D →
3
He +n + 3.25 MeV,
D +D →T +p + 4.0 MeV,
D +T →
4
He +n + 17.6 MeV.
The cross section of the last reaction is the largest.
Neutrons resulting from the reactions can be used to induce ﬁssion in a
ﬁssionfusion reactor, or to take part in reactions like
6
Li + n →
4
He + T
to release more energy.
2045
Discuss thermonuclear reactions. Give examples of reactions of impor
tance in the sun, the H bomb and in controlled fusion attempts. Estimate
roughly in electron volts the energy release per reaction and give the char
acteristic of nuclear forces most important in these reactions.
(Wisconsin)
Nuclear Physics 265
Solution:
The most important thermonuclear reactions in the sun are the proton
proton chain
p +p →d +e
+
+ν
e
,
d +p →
3
He +γ ,
3
He +
3
He →
4
He + 2p ,
the resulting reaction being
4p + 2d + 2p + 2
3
He →2d + 2e
+
+ 2ν
e
+ 2
3
He +
4
He + 2p ,
or
4p →
4
He + 2e
+
+ 2ν
e
.
The energy released in this reaction is roughly
Q =[4M(
1
H) −M(
4
He)]c
2
= 4 1.008142 −4.003860
=0.02871 amu = 26.9 MeV.
The explosive in a H bomb is a mixture of deuterium, tritium and
lithium in some condensed form. H bomb explosion is an uncontrolled
thermonuclear reaction which releases a great quantity of energy at the
instant of explosion. The reaction chain is
6
Li +n →
4
He +t ,
D +t →
4
He +n,
with the resulting reaction
6
Li +d →2
4
He .
The energy released per reaction is
Q = [M(
6
Li) +M(
2
H) −2M(
4
He)]c
2
= 6.01690 + 2.01471 −2 4.00388
= 0.02385 amu = 22.4 MeV.
266 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
An example of possible controlled fusion is
t +d →
4
He +n,
where the energy released is
Q = [M(
3
H) +M(
2
H) −M(
4
He) −M(n)]c
2
= 3.01695 + 2.01471 −4.00388 −1.00896
= 0.01882 amu = 17.65 MeV.
The most important characteristic of nuclear forces in these reactions
is saturation, which means that a nucleon interacts only with nucleons in
its immediate neighborhood. So while the nuclear interactions of a nucleon
in the interior of a nucleus are saturated, the interactions of a nucleon on
the surface of the nucleus are not. Then as the ratio of the number of
nucleons on the nucleus surface to that of those in the interior is larger for
lighter nuclei, the mean binding energy per nucleon for a lighter nucleus is
smaller than for a heavier nucleus. In other words nucleons in lighter nuclei
are combined more loosely. However, because of the eﬀect of the Coulomb
energy of the protons, the mean binding energies of very heavy nuclei are
less than those of medium nuclei.
2046
For some years now, R. Davis and collaborators have been searching for
solar neutrinos, in a celebrated experiment that employs as detector a large
tank of C
2
Cl
4
located below ground in the Homestake mine. The idea is
to look for argon atoms (A
37
) produced by the inverse βdecay reaction
Cl
37
(ν, e
−
)Ar
37
. This reaction, owing to threshold eﬀects, is relatively
insensitive to low energy neutrinos, which constitute the expected principal
component of neutrinos from the sun. It is supposed to respond to a smaller
component of higher energy neutrinos expected from the sun. The solar
constant (radiant energy ﬂux at the earth) is ∼ 1 kW/m
2
.
(a) Outline the principal sequence of nuclear processes presumed to
account for energy generation in the sun. What is the slow link in the
chain? Estimate the mean energy of the neutrinos produced in this chain.
Nuclear Physics 267
What is the expected number ﬂux at the earth of the principal component
of solar neutrinos?
(b) Outline the sequence of minor nuclear reactions that is supposed
to generate the higher energy component of the neutrino spectrum, the
component being looked for in the above experiment. Brieﬂy discuss the
experiment itself, and the ﬁndings to date.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The principal sequence of nuclear processes presumed to generate
solar energy is
(1) p +p →d +e
+
+ν
e
, E
ν
= 0 −0.42 MeV,
(2) d +p →
3
He +γ ,
(3)
3
He +
3
He →
4
He + 2p ,
The resulting reaction being 4p →
4
He + 2e
+
+ 2ν
e
+ 26.7 MeV.
The reaction (1) is the slow link. About 25 MeV of the energy changes
into thermal energy in the sequence, the rest being taken up by the neutri
nos. So the mean energy of a neutrino is
E
ν
≈ (26.7 −25)/2 ≈ 0.85 MeV.
As each 25 MeV of solar energy arriving on earth is accompanied by 2
neutrions, the number ﬂux of solar neutrinos at the earth is
I = 2
1 10
3
25 1.6 10
−13
= 5 10
14
m
−2
s
−1
.
(b) The minor processes in the sequence are
(1)
3
He +
4
He →
7
Be +γ ,
(2)
7
Be +e
−
→
7
Li +ν
e
, E
ν
= 0.478 MeV(12%) and 0.861 MeV (88%),
(3)
7
Li +p →2
4
He,
(4)
7
Be +p →
8
B +γ,
(5)
8
B →2
4
He +e
+
+ν
e
, E
ν
≈ 0 ∼ 17 MeV.
The high energy neutrinos produced in the
8
B decay are those being
measured in the experiment
In the experiment of Davis et al, a tank of 390000 liters of C
2
Cl
4
was
placed in a mine 1.5 kilometers below ground, to reduce the cosmicray
background. The threshold energy for the reaction between solar neutrino
268 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
and Cl, ν
e
+
37
Cl →e
−
+
37
Ar, is 0.814 MeV. The Ar gas produced then
decays by electron capture, e
−
+
37
Ar → ν
e
+
37
Cl, the energy of the
Auger electron emitted following this process being 2.8 keV. The halflife
of Ar against the decay is 35 days. When the Ar gas produced, which
had accumulated in the tank for several months, was taken out and its
radioactivity measured with a proportional counter, the result was only
onethird of what had been theoretically expected. This was the celebrated
case of the “missing solar neutrinos”. Many possible explanations have
been proposed, such as experimental errors, faulty theories, or “neutrinos
oscillation”, etc.
2047
In a crude, but not unreasonable, approximation, a neutron star is a
sphere which consists almost entirely of neutrons which form a nonrelativis
tic degenerate Fermi gas. The pressure of the Fermi gas is counterbalanced
by gravitational attraction.
(a) Estimate the radius of such a star to within an order of magnitude if
the mass is 10
33
g. Since only a rough numerical estimate is required, you
need to make only reasonable simplifying assumptions like taking a uniform
density, and estimate integrals you cannot easily evaluate, etc. (Knowing
the answer is not enough here; you must derive it.)
(b) In the laboratory, neutrons are unstable, decaying according to n →
p+e+ν+1 MeV with a lifetime of 1000 s. Explain brieﬂy and qualitatively,
but precisely, why we can consider the neutron star to be made up almost
entirely of neutrons, rather than neutrons, protons, and electrons.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) Let R be the radius of the neutron star. The gravitational potential
energy is
V
g
= −
R
0
4
3
πr
3
ρ
G
r
4πr
2
ρdr = −
3
5
GM
2
R
,
where ρ =
3M
4πR
3
is the density of the gas, M being its total mass, G is
the gravitational constant. When R increases by ∆R, the pressure P of
the gas does an external work ∆W = P∆V = 4πPR
2
∆R. As ∆W =
−∆V
g
, we have
Nuclear Physics 269
P =
3GM
2
20πR
4
.
The pressure of a completely degenerate Fermi gas is
P =
2
5
NE
f
,
where N =
ρ
M
n
is the neutron number density, M
n
being the neutron mass,
E
f
=
2
2M
n
9π
4
M
M
n
R
3
2/3
is the limiting energy. Equating the expressions for P gives
R =
9π
4
2
3
2
GM
3
n
M
n
M
1
3
=
9π
4
2
3
(1.05 10
−34
)
2
6.67 10
−11
(1.67 10
−27
)
3
1.67 10
−27
10
30
1
3
= 1.6 10
4
m.
(b) Let d be the distance between neighboring neutrons. As
M
M
n
≈
2R
d
3
, d ≈ 2R
M
n
M
1
3
= 4 10
−15
m. If electrons existed in the star,
the magnitude of their mean free path would be of the order of d, and
so the order of magnitude of the kinetic energy of an electron would be
E ≈ cp ∼ c/d ∼ 50 MeV. Since each neutron decay only gives out 1 MeV,
and the neutron’s kinetic energy is less than E
f
≈ 21 MeV, it is unlikely
that there could be electrons in the neutron star originating from the decay
of neutrons, if energy conservation is to hold. Furthermore, because the
neutrons are so close together, e and p from a decay would immediately
recombine. Thus there would be no protons in the star also.
3. THE DEUTERON AND NUCLEAR FORCES
(2048 2058)
2048
If the nuclear force is charge independent and a neutron and a proton
form a bound state, then why is there no bound state for two neutrons?
What information does this provide on the nucleonnucleon force?
(Wisconsin)
270 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
A system of a neutron and a proton can form either singlet or triplet
spin state. The bound state is the triplet state because the energy level
of the singlet state is higher. A system of two neutrons which are in the
same energy level can form only singlet spin state, and no bound state is
possible. This shows the spin dependency of the nuclear force.
2049
A deuteron of mass M and binding energy B(B <Mc
2
) is disintegrated
into a neutron and a proton by a gamma ray of energy E
γ
. Find, to lowest
order in B/Mc
2
, the minimum value of (E
γ
− B) for which the reaction
can occur.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
In the disintegration of the deuteron, E
γ
−B is smallest when E
γ
is at
threshold, at which the ﬁnal particles are stationary in the centerofmass
system. In this case the energy of the incident photon in the centerofmass
system of the deuteron is E
∗
= (m
n
+ m
p
)c
2
.
Let M be the mass of the deuteron. As E
2
−p
2
c
2
is Lorentzinvariant
and B = (m
n
+m
p
−M)c
2
, we have
(E
γ
+Mc
2
) −E
2
γ
= (m
n
+m
p
)
2
c
4
,
i.e.,
2E
γ
Mc
2
= [(m
n
+m
p
)
2
−M
2
]c
4
= (B + 2Mc
2
)B,
or
E
γ
−B =
B
2
2Mc
2
,
which is the minimum value of E
γ
−B for the reaction to occur.
2050
According to a simpleminded picture, the neutron and proton in a
deuteron interact through a square well potential of width b = 1.910
−15
m
and depth V
0
= 40 MeV in an l = 0 state.
Nuclear Physics 271
(a) Calculate the probability that the proton moves within the range of
the neutron. Use the approximation that m
n
= m
p
= M, kb =
π
2
, where
k =
M(V
0
−ε)
2
and ε is the binding energy of the deuteron.
(b) Find the meansquare radius of the deuteron.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
The interaction may be considered as between two particles of mass M,
so the reduced mass is µ =
1
2
M. The potential energy is
V (r) =
−V
0
, r < b,
0, r > b,
where r is the distance between the proton and the neutron. The system’s
energy is E = −ε.
For l = 0 states, let the wave function be Ψ = u(r)/r. The radial
Schr¨odinger equation
u
+
2µ
2
(E −V )u = 0
can be written as
u
+k
2
u = 0 , r ≤ b ,
u
−k
2
1
u = 0 , r > b ,
where
k =
M(V
0
−ε)
2
,
k
1
=
Mε
2
.
With the boundary condition ψ = 0 at r = 0 and ψ =ﬁnite at r = ∞, we
get u(r) = Asin(kr), r ≤ b; Be
−k
1
(r−b)
, r > b.
The continuity of ψ(r) and that of ψ
(r) at r = b require
Asin(kb) = B,
kAcos(kb) = −k
1
B,
272 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
which give
cot(kb) = −
k
1
k
= −
ε
V
0
−ε
.
If we take the approximation kb =
π
2
, then A ≈ B and cot(kb) ≈ 0. The
latter is equivalent to assuming V
0
ε, which means there is only one
found state.
To normalize, consider
1 =
∞
0
[ψ(r)[
2
4πr
2
dr
= 4πA
2
b
0
sin
2
(kr)dr + 4πB
2
∞
b
e
−2k
1
(r−b)
dγ
≈ 2πA
2
b
1 +
1
bk
1
.
Thus
A ≈ B ≈
¸
2πb
1 +
1
bk
1
−
1
2
.
(a) The probability of the proton moving within the range of the force
of the neutron is
P = 4πA
2
b
0
sin
2
(kr)dr =
1 +
1
k
1
b
−1
.
As
k =
M(V
0
−ε)
≈
π
2b
,
i.e.
ε ≈ V
0
−
1
Mc
2
πc
2b
2
= 40 −
1
940
π 1.97 10
−13
2 1.9 10
−15
2
= 11.8 MeV,
and
k
1
=
√
Mc
2
ε
c
=
√
940 11.8
1.97 10
−13
= 5.3 10
14
m
−1
,
Nuclear Physics 273
we have
P =
1 +
1
5.3 10
14
1.9 10
−15
−1
= 0.50 .
(b) The meansquare radius of the deuteron is
r
2
= 'Ψ[r
2
[Ψ`
r<b
+'Ψ[r
2
[Ψ`
r>b
= 4πA
2
¸
b
0
sin
2
(kr)r
2
dr +
∞
b
e
−2k
1
(r−b)
r
2
dr
¸
=
b
2
1 +
1
k
1
b
¸
1
3
+
4
π
2
+
1
k
1
b
+
1
(k
1
b)
2
+
1
2(k
1
b)
3
≈
b
2
2
1
3
+
4
π
2
+ 2.5
= 5.8 10
−30
m
2
.
Hence
(r
2
)
1
2
= 2.4 10
−15
m.
2051
(a) A neutron and a proton can undergo radioactive capture at rest:
p + n → d + γ. Find the energy of the photon emitted in this capture. Is
the recoil of the deuteron important?
(b) Estimate the energy a neutron incident on a proton at rest must
have if the radioactive capture is to take place with reasonable probability
from a pstate (l = 1). The radius of the deuteron is ∼ 4 10
−13
cm.
m
p
= 1.00783 amu, m
n
= 1.00867 amu, m
d
= 2.01410 amu, 1 amu =
1.66 10
−24
g = 931 MeV, 1 MeV = 1.6 10
−13
joule = 1.6 10
−6
erg,
= 1.05 10
−25
erg.s.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The energy released in the radioactive capture is
Q = [m
p
+m
n
−m
d
]c
2
= 1.00783 + 1.00867 −2.01410 amu = 2.234 MeV.
274 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
This energy appears as the kinetic energies of the photon and recoil
deuteron. Let their respective momenta be p and −p. Then
Q = pc +
p
2
2m
d
,
or
(pc)
2
+ 2m
d
c
2
(pc) −2m
d
c
2
Q = 0 .
Solving for pc we have
pc = m
d
c
2
−1 +
1 +
2Q
m
d
c
2
.
As Q/m
d
c
2
<1, we can take the approximation
p ≈ m
d
c
−1 + 1 +
Q
m
d
c
2
≈
Q
c
.
Thus the kinetic energy of the recoiling deuteron is
E
recoil
=
p
2
2m
d
=
Q
2
2m
d
c
2
=
2.234
2
2 2.0141 931
= 1.33 10
−3
MeV.
Since
∆E
recoil
E
γ
=
1.34 10
−3
2.234
= 6.0 10
−4
,
the recoiling of the deuteron does not signiﬁcantly aﬀect the energy of the
emitted photon, its eﬀect being of the order 10
−4
.
(b) Let the position vectors of the neutron and proton be r
1
, r
2
respec
tively. The motion of the system can be treated as that of a particle of
mass µ =
m
p
m
n
m
p
+m
n
, position vector r = r
1
−r
2
, having momentum p
= µ˙ r
and kinetic energy T
=
p
2
2µ
in the centerofmass frame. The laboratory
energy is
T = T
+
1
2
(m
p
+m
n
)
˙
R
2
,
where
˙
R = (m
n
˙ r
1
+m
p
˙ r
2
)/(m
n
+m
p
).
To a good approximation we can take m
p
· m
n
. Initially ˙ r
2
= 0, so
that
˙
R =
1
2
˙ r
1
, T =
m
n
2
˙ r
2
1
=
p
2
2m
n
, where p = m
n
˙ r
1
is the momentum of the
neutron in the laboratory. Substitution in the energy equation gives
p
2
2m
n
=
p
2
m
n
+
p
2
4m
n
,
Nuclear Physics 275
or
p
2
= 4p
2
.
The neutron is captured into the pstate, which has angular momentum
eigenvalue
1(1 + 1). Using the deuteron radius a as the radius of the
orbit, we have p
a ≈
√
2 and hence the kinetic energy of the neutron in
the laboratory
T =
p
2
2m
n
=
2p
2
m
n
=
4
m
n
c
2
c
a
2
=
4
940
1.97 10
−11
4 10
−13
2
= 10.32 MeV.
2052
Consider the neutronproton capture reaction leading to a deuteron and
photon, n + p → d + γ. Suppose the initial nucleons are unpolarized and
that the center of mass kinetic energy T in the initial state is very small
(thermal). Experimental study of this process provides information on
swave protonneutron scattering, in particular on the singlet scattering
length a
s
. Recall the deﬁnition of scattering length in the terms of phase
shift: k cot δ → −1/a
s
, as k → 0. Treat the deuteron as being a pure
sstate .
(a) Characterize the leading multipolarity of the reaction (electric
dipole? magnetic dipole? etc.?). Give your reason.
(b) Show that the capture at low energies occurs from a spin singlet
rather than spin triplet initial state.
(c) Let B be the deuteron binding energy and let m = m
p
= m
n
be
the nucleon mass. How does the deuteron spatial wave function vary with
neutronproton separation r for large r?
(d) In the approximation where the neutronproton force is treated as
being of very short range, the cross section σ depends on T, B, a
s
, m
and universal parameters in the form σ = σ
0
(T, B, m)f(a
s
, B, m), where f
would equal unity if a
s
= 0. Compute the factor f for a
s
= 0.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) As the centerofmass kinetic energy of the n − p system is very
small, the only reaction possible is swave capture with l = 0. The possible
276 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
initial states are
1
S
0
state: s
p
+s
n
= 0. As P(
1
S
0
) = 1, we have J
p
= 0
+
;
3
S
1
state: s
p
+s
n
= 1. As P(
3
S
1
) = 1, we have J
p
= 1
+
. The ﬁnal state is
a deuteron, with J
p
= 1
+
, and thus S = 1, l = 0, 2 (Problem 2058(b)).
The initial states have l = 0. Hence there are two possible transitions
with ∆l = 0, 2 and no change of parity. Therefore the reactions are of the
M1, E2 types.
(b) Consider the two transitions above:
1
S
0
→
3
S
1
, and
3
S
1
→
3
S
1
.
As both the initial and ﬁnal states of each case have l = 0, only those
interaction terms involving spin in the Hamiltonian can cause the transition.
For such operators, in order that the transition matrix elements do not
vanish the spin of one of the nucleons must change during the process.
Since
for
3
S
1
→
3
S
1
, ∆l = 0, ∆S = 0 ,
for
1
S
0
→
3
S
1
, ∆l = 0, ∆S = 0 ,
the initial state which satisﬁes the transition requirement is the spinsinglet
1
S
0
state of the n −p system.
(c) Let the range of neutronproton force be a. The radial part of the
Schr¨odinger equation for the system for s waves is
d
2
u
dr
2
+
2µ
2
(T −V )u = 0 ,
where u = rR(r), R(r) being the radial spatial wave function, µ =
m
2
, and
V can be approximated by a rectangular potential well of depth B and
width a:
V =
−B for 0 ≤ r ≤ a ,
0 for a < r .
The solution for large r gives the deuteron spatial wave function as
R(r) =
A
r
sin(kr +δ)
where k =
√
mT
, A and δ are constants.
(d) The solutions of the radial Schr¨odinger equation for s waves are
u =
Asin(kr +δ), with k =
√
mT
, for r ≥ a ,
A
sinKr, with K =
m(T +B)
, for r ≤ a .
Nuclear Physics 277
The continuity of the wave function and its ﬁrst derivative at r = a gives
tan(ka +δ) =
k
K
tanKa , (1)
and hence
δ = arctan
k
K
tanKa
−ka . (2)
The scattering cross section is then
σ =
4π
k
2
sin
2
δ .
Consider the case of k → 0. We have δ → δ
0
, K → K
0
=
√
mB
, and, by
deﬁnition, a
s
= −
tan δ
0
k
.
With k →0, Eq. (1) gives
ka + tanδ
0
≈
k
K
0
tanK
0
a(1 −ka tanδ
0
) ≈
k
K
0
tanK
0
a ,
or
ka −ka
s
≈
k
K
0
tanK
0
a ,
i.e.,
a
s
≈ −a
tanK
0
a
K
0
a
−1
.
If a
s
= −
tanδ
0
k
→ 0, then δ
0
→ 0 also (k is small but ﬁnite). The
corresponding scattering cross section is
σ
0
=
4π
k
2
sin
2
δ
0
≈
4π
k
2
δ
2
0
=
4π
k
2
k
2
a
2
s
= 4πa
2
tanK
0
a
K
0
a
−1
2
.
Hence
f(a
s
, B, m) =
σ
σ
0
≈
sin
2
[arctan(
k
K
tanKa) −ka]
k
2
a
2
(
tan K
0
a
K
0
a
−1)
2
≈
sin
2
[arctan(
k
K
tanKa) −ka]
k
2
a
2
s
.
278 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
2053
The only bound twonucleon conﬁguration that occurs in nature is
the deuteron with total angular momentum J = 1 and binding energy
−2.22 MeV.
(a) From the above information alone, show that the n − p force must
be spin dependent.
(b) Write down the possible angular momentum states for the deuteron
in an LS coupling scheme. What general liner combinations of these states
are possible? Explain.
(c) Which of the states in (b) are ruled out by the existence of the
quadrupole moment of the deuteron? Explain. Which states, in addition,
are ruled out if the deuteron has pure isospin T = 0?
(d) Calculate the magnetic moment of the deuteron in each of the al
lowed states in part (c), and compare with the observed magnetic moment
µ
d
= 0.875µ
N
, µ
N
being the nuclear magneton.
(NOTE: µ
p
= 2.793µ
N
and µ
n
= −1.913µ
N
)
The following Clebsch–Gordan coeﬃcients may be of use:
[Notation; 'J
1
J
2
M
1
M
2
[J
TOT
M
TOT
`]
'2, 1; 2, −1[1, 1` = (3/5)
1/2
,
'2, 1; 1, 0[1, 1` = −(3/10)
1/2
,
'2, 1; 0, 1[1, 1` = (1/10)
1/2
.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The spin of naturally occurring deuteron is J = 1. As J = s
n
+s
p
+l
p
,
we can have
for [s
n
+s
p
[ = 1 , l = 0, 1, 2, possible states
3
S
1
3
P
1
,
3
D
1
,
for [s
n
+s
p
[ = 0 , l = 1, possible state
1
P
1
.
However, as no stable singlet state
1
S
0
, where n, p have antiparallel spins
and l = 0, is found, this means that when n, p interact to form S = 1 and
S = 0 states, one is stable and one is not, indicating the spin dependence
of nuclear force.
Nuclear Physics 279
(b) As shown above, in LS coupling the possible conﬁgurations are
3
S
1
,
3
D
1
of even party and
3
P
1
,
1
P
1
of odd parity.
As the deuteron has a deﬁnite parity, only states of the same parity can
be combined. Thus
Ψ(n, p) = a
3
S
1
+b
3
D
1
or c
3
P
1
+ d
1
P
1
,
where a, b, c, d are constants, are the general linear combinations possible.
(c) l = 1 in the P state corresponds to a translation of the center of mass
of the system, and does not give rise to an electric quadrupole moment. So
the existence of an electric quadrupole moment of the deuteron rules out the
combination of P states. Also, in accordance with the generalized Pauli’s
principle, the total wave function of the n−p system must be antisymmetric.
Thus, in
Ψ(n, p) = Ψ
l
(n, p)Ψ
s
(n, p)Ψ
T
(n, p) ,
where l, s, T label the space, spin and isospin wave functions, as T = 0
and so the isospin wave function is exchange antisymmetric, the combined
space and spin wave function must be exchange symmetric. It follows that
if l = 1, then S = 0, if l = 0, 2 then S = 1. This rules out the
3
P
1
state.
Hence, considering the electric quadrupole moment and the isospin, the
deuteron can only be a mixed state of
3
S
1
and
3
D
1
.
(d) For the
3
S
1
state, l = 0, and the orbital part of the wave function
has no eﬀect on the magnetic moment; only the spin part does. As S = 1,
the n and p have parallel spins, and so
µ(
3
S
1
) = µ
p
+µ
n
= (2.793 −1.913)µ
N
= 0.88µ
N
.
For the
3
D
1
state, when m = 1, the projection of the magnetic moment
on the z direction gives the value of the magnetic moment. Expanding the
total angular momentum [1, 1` in terms of the D states we have
[1, 1` =
3
5
[2, 2, 1, −1` −
3
10
[2, 1, 1, 0` +
1
10
[2, 0, 1, 1` .
280 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
The contribution of the D state to the magnetic moment is therefore
µ(
3
D
1
) =
¸
3
5
(g
l
m
l1
+g
s
m
s1
) +
3
10
(g
l
m
l2
+g
s
m
s2
)
+
1
10
(g
l
m
l3
+g
s
m
s3
)
µ
N
=
¸
3
5
m
l1
+
3
10
m
l2
+
1
10
m
l3
1
2
+
3
5
m
s1
+
3
10
m
s2
+
1
10
m
s3
0.88
µ
N
=0.31µ
N
.
Note that g
l
is 1 for p and 0 for n, g
s
is 5.5855 for p and −3.8256 for n,
and so g
l
is
1
2
and g
s
is 0.88 for the system (Problem 2056).
As experimentally µ
d
= 0.857µ
N
, the deuteron must be a mixed state
of S and D. Let the proportion of D state be x, and that of S state be
1 −x. Then
0.88(1 −x) + 0.31x = 0.857 ,
giving x ≈ 0.04, showing that the deuteron consists of 4%
3
D
1
state and
96%
3
S
1
state.
2054
Consider a nonrelativistic twonucleon system. Assume the interaction
is charge independent and conserves parity.
(a) By using the above assumptions and the Pauli principle, show that
S
2
, the square of the twonucleon spin, is a good quantum number.
(b) What is the isotopic spin of the deuteron? Justify your answer!
(c) Specify all states of a twoneutron system with total angular mo
mentum J ≤ 2. Use the notation
2S+1
X
J
where X gives the orbital angular
momentum.
(SUNY Buﬀalo)
Solution:
(a) Let the total exchange operator of the system be P = P
P
12
, where
P
is the space reﬂection, or parity, operator, P
12
is the spin exchange
Nuclear Physics 281
operator
P
12
=
1
2
(1 +σ
1
σ
2
) = S
2
−1 ,
where σ
i
= 2s
i
(i = 1, 2), S = s
1
+ s
2
, using units where = 1. Pauli’s
principle gives [P, H] = 0, and conservation of parity gives [P
, H] = 0. As
0 =[P, H] = [P
P
12
, H] = P
[P
12
, H] + [P
, H]P
12
=P
[P
12
, H] = P
[S
2
−1, H] = P
[S
2
, H] ,
we have [S
2
, H] = 0, and so S
2
is a good quantum number.
(b) The isospin of the nuclear ground state always takes the smallest
possible value. For deuteron,
T = T
p
+T
n
, T
z
= T
pz
+T
nz
=
1
2
−
1
2
= 0 .
For ground state T = 0.
(c) As S = s
1
+s
2
and s
1
= s
2
=
1
2
the quantum number S can be 1 or
0. The possible states with J ≤ 2 are
S = 0 , l = 0 :
1
S
0
,
S = 0 , l = 1 :
1
P
1
,
S = 0 , l = 2 :
1
D
2
,
S = 1 , l = 0 :
3
S
1
,
S = 1 , l = 1 :
3
P
2
,
3
P
1
,
3
P
0
,
S = 1 , l = 2 :
3
D
2
,
3
D
1
,
S = 1 , l = 3 :
3
F
2
,
However, a twoneutron systemis required to be antisymmetric with respect
to particle exchange. Thus (−1)
l+S+1
= −1, or l + S = even. Hence the
possible states are
1
S
0
,
1
D
2
,
3
P
2
,
3
P
1
,
3
P
0
,
3
F
2
.
2055
Consider the potential between two nucleons. Ignoring velocity
dependent terms, derive the most general form of the potential which is
282 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
consistent with applicable conservation laws including that of isotopic spin.
Please list each conservation law and indicate its consequences for the
potential.
(Chicago)
Solution:
(a) Momentum conservation – invariance in space translation.
This law means that the potential function depends only on the relative
position between the two nucleons x = x
1
−x
2
.
(b) Angular momentum conservation – invariance in continuous space
rotation: x
=
ˆ
Rx, J
(i)
=
ˆ
RJ
(i)
, i = 1, 2, where
ˆ
R is the rotational
operator.
The invariants in the rotational transformation are 1, x
2
J
(i)
x, J
(1)
J
(2)
and [J
(1)
J
(2)
] x. Terms higher than ﬁrst order in J
(1)
or in J
(2)
can be reduced as J
i
J
j
= δ
ij
+ iε
ijk
J
k
. Also (J
(1)
x) (J
(2)
x) =
(J
(1)
x) J
(2)
x = (J
(1)
J
(2)
)x
2
−(J
(1)
x)(J
(2)
x).
(c) Parity conservation – invariance in space reﬂection: x
= −x, J
(i)
=
J
(i)
, i = 1, 2.
Since x is the only polar vector, in the potential function only terms
of even power in x are possible. Other invariants are 1, x
2
, J
(1)
J
(2)
,
(J
(1)
x)(J
(2)
x).
(d) Isotopic spin conservation – rotational invariance in isotopic spin
space:
I
(i)
= R
J
I
(i)
, i = 1, 2 .
The invariants are 1 and I
(1)
I
(2)
.
(e) Conservation of probability – Hamiltonian is hermitian: V
+
= V .
This implies the realness of the coeﬃcient of the potential function,
i.e., V
sk
(r), where r = [x[, is real. Thus in
V (x
1
, x
2
, J
(1)
, J
(2)
, I
(1)
, I
(2)
) = V
a
+J
(1)
J
(2)
V
b
,
where V
a
and V
b
are of the form
V
0
(r) +V
1
(r)J
(1)
J
(2)
+V
2
(r)
(J
(1)
x)(J
(2)
x)
x
2
,
as the coeﬃcients V
sk
(r) (s = a, b; k = 0, 1, 2) are real functions.
Nuclear Physics 283
(f) Time reversal (inversion of motion) invariance:
V = U
−1
V
∗
U, U
−1
J
∗
U = −J .
This imposes no new restriction on V .
Note that V is symmetric under the interchange 1 ↔ 2 between two
nucleons.
2056
The deuteron is a bound state of a proton and a neutron of total angular
momentum J = 1. It is known to be principally an S(l = 0) state with a
small admixture of a D(l = 2) state.
(a) Explain why a P state cannot contribute.
(b) Explain why a G state cannot contribute.
(c) Calculate the magnetic moment of the pure D state n − p system
with J = 1. Assume that the n and p spins are to be coupled to make
the total spin S which is then coupled to the orbital angular momentum
L to give the total angular momentum J. Express your result in nuclear
magnetons. The proton and neutron magnetic moments are 2.79 and −1.91
nuclear magnetons respectively.
(CUSPEA)
Solution:
(a) The P state has a parity opposite to that of S and D states. As
parity is conserved in strong interactions states of opposite parities cannot
be mixed. Hence the P state cannot contribute to a state involving S and
D states
(b) The orbital angular momentum quantum number of G state is l = 4.
It cannot be coupled with two 1/2 spins to give J = 1. Hence the G state
cannot contribute to a state of J = 1.
(c) We have J = L +S,
µ =
[(g
L
L +g
s
S) J]
J(J + 1)
Jµ
0
,
284 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where µ
0
is the nuclear magneton. By deﬁnition,
S = s
p
+s
n
,
µ
s
=
[(g
p
s
p
+g
n
s
n
) S]
S(S + 1)
Sµ
0
≡ g
s
Sµ
0
,
or
g
s
=
g
p
s
p
S +g
n
s
n
S
S(S + 1)
.
Consider s
n
= S −s
p
. As s
2
n
= S
2
+s
2
p
−2S s
p
, we have
S s
p
=
S(S + 1) +s
p
(s
p
+ 1) −s
n
(s
n
+ 1)
2
= 1 ,
since s
p
= s
n
=
1
2
, S = 1 (for J = 1, l = 2). Similarly S s
n
= 1. Hence
g
s
=
1
2
(g
p
+g
n
) .
As the neutron, which is uncharged, makes no contribution to the orbital
magnetic moment, the proton produces the entire orbital magnetic moment,
but half the orbital angular momentum. Hence g
L
=
1
2
.
Substitution of g
s
and g
L
in the expression for µ gives
µ
µ
0
=
1
2
(L J) +
1
2
(g
p
+g
n
)(S J)
J(J + 1)
J.
As
L J =
1
2
[J(J + 1) +L(L + 1) −S(S + 1)]
=
1
2
(1 2 + 2 3 −1 2) = 3 ,
S J =
1
2
[J(J + 1) +S(S + 1) −L(L + 1)]
=
1
2
(1 2 + 1 2 −2 3) = −1 ,
µ
µ
0
=
1
2
3
2
−
g
p
+g
n
2
J.
Nuclear Physics 285
with µ
p
= g
p
s
p
µ
0
=
1
2
g
p
µ
0
, µ
n
= g
n
s
n
µ
0
=
1
2
g
n
µ
0
, we have
µ =
3
4
−
µ
p
+µ
n
2
µ
0
=
3
4
−
2.79 −1.91
2
µ
0
= 0.31µ
0
.
2057
(a) The deuteron (
2
1
H) has J = 1 and a magnetic moment (µ =
0.857µ
N
) which is approximately the sum of proton and neutron magnetic
moments (µ
p
= 2.793µ
N
, and µ
n
= −1.913µ
N
). From these facts what can
one infer concerning the orbital motion and spin alignment of the neutron
and proton in the deuteron?
(b) How might one interpret the lack of exact equality of µ and µ
n
+µ
p
?
(c) How can the neutron have a nonzero magnetic moment?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) As µ ≈ µ
n
+ µ
p
, the orbital motions of proton and neutron make
no contribution to the magnetic moment of the deuteron. This means that
the orbital motion quantum number is l = 0. As J = 1 the spin of the
deuteron is 1 and it is in the
3
S
1
state formed by proton and neutron of
parallelspin alignment.
(b) The diﬀerence between µ and µ
n
+µ
p
cannot be explained away by
experimental errors. It is interpreted as due to the fact that the neutron
and proton are not in a pure
3
S
1
state, but in a mixture of
3
S
1
and
3
D
1
states. If a proportion of the latter of about 4% is assumed, agreement with
the experimental value can be achieved.
(c) While the neutron has net zero charge, it has an inner structure.
The current view is that the neutron consists of three quarks of fractional
charges. The charge distribution inside the neutron is thus not symmetrical,
resulting in a nonzero magnetic moment.
2058
The deuteron is a bound state of a proton and a neutron. The Hamil
tonian in the centerofmass system has the form
H =
p
2
2µ
+V
1
(r) +σ
p
σ
n
V
2
(r) +
¸
σ
p
x
r
σ
n
x
r
−
1
3
(σ
p
σ
n
)
V
3
(r) ,
286 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where x = x
n
−x
p
, r = [x[, σ
p
and σ
n
are the Pauli matrices for the spins
of the proton and neutron, µ is the reduced mass, and p is conjugate to x.
(a) Total angular momentum (J
2
= J(J + 1)) and parity are good
quantum numbers. Show that if V
3
= 0, total orbital angular momentum
(L
2
= L(L+1)) and total spin (S
2
= S(S+1)) are good quantum numbers,
where S =
1
2
(σ
p
+ σ
n
). Show that if V
3
= 0, S is still a good quantum
number. [It may help to consider interchange of proton and neutron spins.]
(b) The deuteron has J = 1 and positive parity. What are the possible
values of L? What is the value of S?
(c) Assume that V
3
can be treated as a small perturbation. Show that
in zeroth order (V
3
= 0) the wave function of the state with J
z
= +1 is of
the form Ψ
0
(r)[α, α`, where [α, α` is the spin state with s
pz
= s
nz
= 1/2.
What is the diﬀerential equation satisﬁed by Ψ
0
(r)?
(d) What is the ﬁrst order shift in energy due to the term in V
3
? Suppose
that to ﬁrst order the wave function is
Ψ
0
(r)[α, α` + Ψ
1
(x)[α, α` + Ψ
2
(x)([α, β` +[β, α`) + Ψ
3
(x)[β, β` ,
where [β` is a state with s
z
= −
1
2
and Ψ
0
is as deﬁned in part (c). By
selecting out the part of the Sch¨ordinger equation that is ﬁrst order in V
3
and proportional to [α, α`, ﬁnd the diﬀerential equation satisﬁed by Ψ
1
(x).
Separate out the angular dependence of Ψ
1
(x) and write down a diﬀerential
equation for its radial dependence.
(MIT)
Solution:
(a) We have [L
2
, σ
p
σ
n
] = 0, [L
2
, V
i
(r)] = 0, [S
2
, V
i
(r)] = 0, [S
2
, p
2
] =
0; [S
2
, σ
p
σ
n
] = [S
2
, 2S
2
−3] = 0 as S
2
= s
2
p
+s
2
n
+2s
p
s
n
=
3
4
+
3
4
+
1
2
σ
p
σ
n
;
S
2
, 3
σ
p
x
r
σ
n
x
r
−σ
p
σ
n
=
¸
S
2
,
12(s x)
2
r
2
−2S
2
+ 3
=
¸
S
2
,
12(s x)
2
r
2
=
12(s x)
r
2
[S
2
, s x] + [S
2
, s x]
12(s x)
r
2
= 0
as
(σ
p
x)
r
(σ
n
x)
r
=
4
r
2
(s
p
x)(s
n
x) =
4
r
2
(s x)
2
;
[L
2
, p
2
] = L[L, p
2
] + [L, p
2
]L = 0 as [l
α
, p
2
] = 0.
Nuclear Physics 287
Hence if V
3
= 0, [L
2
, H] = 0, [S
2
, H] = 0, and the total orbital angu
lar momentum and total spin are good quantum numbers. If V
3
= 0, as
[S
2
, H] = 0, S is still a good quantum number.
(b) The possible values of L are 0,2 for positive parity, and so the value
of S is 1.
(c) If V
3
= 0, the Hamiltonian is centrally symmetric. Such a symmetric
interaction potential between the proton and neutron gives rise to an S state
(L = 0). The S state of deuteron would have an admixture of Dstate if
the perturbation V
3
is included.
In the case of V
3
= 0, L = 0, S = 1 and S
z
= 1, so J
z
= +1 and the
wave function has a form Ψ
0
(r)[α, α`. Consider
HΨ
0
(r)[α, α` =
¸
−
∇
2
2µ
+V
1
(r) + (2S
2
−3)V
2
(r)
Ψ
0
(r)[α, α`
=
¸
−
∇
2
2µ
+V
1
(r) +V
2
(r)
Ψ
0
(r)[α, α`
= E
c
Ψ
0
(r)[α, α`
noting that 2S
2
−3 = 2.1.2 −3 = 1. Thus Ψ
0
(r) satisﬁes
¸
−
∇
2
2µ
+V
1
(r) +V
2
(r) −E
c
Ψ
0
(r) = 0 ,
or
−
1
2µ
1
r
2
d
dr
[r
2
Ψ
0
(r)] + [V
1
(r) +V
2
(r) −E
c
]Ψ
0
(r) = 0 ,
i.e.,
−
1
2µ
Ψ
0
(r) −
1
µr
Ψ
0
(r) + [V
1
(r) +V
2
(r) −E
c
]Ψ
0
(r) = 0 .
(d) Now, writing S
12
for the coeﬃcient of V
3
(r),
H = −
∇
2
2µ
+V
1
(r) + (2S
2
−3)V
2
(r) +S
12
V
3
(r)
= −
∇
2
2µ
+V
1
(r) +V
2
(r) +S
12
V
3
(r) ,
288 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
so
HΨ =
−
∇
2
2µ
+V
1
+V
2
Ψ
0
(r)[α, α` +
−
∇
2
2µ
+V
1
+V
2
[Ψ
1
[α, α`
+ Ψ
2
([α, β` +[β, α`) + Ψ
3
[β, β`] +S
12
V
3
Ψ
0
[α, α`
=E
c
Ψ
0
(r)[α, α` +E
c
[Ψ
1
[α, α` + Ψ
2
([α, β`
+[β, α`) + Ψ
3
[β, β`] + ∆EΨ
0
(r)[α, α` ,
where
S
12
V
3
Ψ
0
(r)[α, α` = [(σ
pz
cos θ σ
nz
cos θ)[α, α` −
1
3
[α, α`]V
3
Ψ
0
(r) +
=
cos
2
θ −
1
3
V
3
Ψ
0
(r)[α, α` + ,
terms not proportional to [α, α` having been neglected.
Selecting out the part of the Schr¨odinger equation that is ﬁrst order in
V
3
and proportional to [α, α`, we get
−
∇
2
2µ
+V
1
+V
2
Ψ
1
(x) +
cos
2
θ −
1
3
V
3
Ψ
0
(r) = E
c
Ψ
1
(x) +∆EΨ
0
(r) .
Thus the angulardependent part of Ψ
1
(x) is
Y
20
= 3
5
16π
1
2
cos
2
θ −
1
3
,
since for the state [α, α`, S
z
= 1 and so L
z
= 0, i.e. the angular part of the
wave function is Y
20
. Therefore we have
−
1
2µ
1
r
2
d
dr
r
2
dΨ
1
(r)
dr
+V
1
(r)Ψ
1
(r) +V
2
(r)Ψ
2
(r)
+
l(l + 1)
r
2
Ψ
1
(r) +
1
3
16π
5
V
3
Ψ
0
(r)
= E
c
Ψ
1
(r) + ∆EΨ
0
(r)
Nuclear Physics 289
with Ψ
1
(x) = Ψ
1
(r)Y
20
, l = 2, or
−
1
2µ
Ψ
1
(r) −
1
µr
Ψ
1
(r) +
¸
V
1
(r) +V
2
(r) +
6
r
2
−E
c
Ψ
1
(r)
+
1
3
16π
5
V
3
−∆E
Ψ
0
(r) = 0
with
∆E =
cos
2
θ −
1
3
V
3
.
4. NUCLEAR MODELS (2059 2075)
2059
What are the essential features of the liquiddrop, shell, and collective
models of the nucleus? Indicate what properties of the nucleus are well
predicted by each model, and how the model is applied.
(Columbia)
Solution:
It is an empirical fact that the binding energy per nucleon, B, of a
nucleus and the density of nuclear matter are almost independent of the
mass number A. This is similar to a liquiddrop whose heat of evaporation
and density are independent of the drop size. Add in the correction terms of
surface energy, Coulomb repulsion energy, pairing energy, symmetry energy
and we get the liquiddrop model. This model gives a relationship between
A and Z of stable nuclei, i.e., the βstability curve, in agreement with
experiment. Moreover, the model explains why the elements
43
Te,
61
Pm
have no βstable isobars. If we treat the nucleus’s radius as a variable
parameter in the massformula coeﬃcients a
surface
and a
volume
and ﬁt the
mass to the experimental value, we ﬁnd that the nuclear radius so deduced
is in good agreement with those obtained by all other methods. So the
speciﬁc binding energy curve is well explained by the liquiddrop model.
The existence of magic numbers indicates that nuclei have internal struc
ture. This led to the nuclear shell model similar to the atomic model, which
could explain the special stability of the magicnumber nuclei. The shell
model requires:
290 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(1) the existence of an average ﬁeld, which for a spherical nucleus is a
central ﬁeld,
(2) that each nucleon in the nucleus moves independently,
(3) that the number of nucleons on an energy level is limited by Pauli’s
principle,
(4) that spinorbit coupling determines the order of energy levels.
The spin and parity of the ground state can be predicted using the shell
model. For eveneven nuclei the predicted spin and parity of the ground
state, 0
+
, have been conﬁrmed by experiment in all cases. The prediction is
based on the fact that normally the spin and parity are 0
+
when neutrons
and protons separately pair up. The predictions of the spin and parity of
the ground state of oddA nuclei are mostly in agreement with experiment.
Certain aspects of oddodd nuclei can also be predicted. In particular it
attributes the existence of magic numbers to full shells.
The shell model however cannot solve all the nuclear problems. It is
quite successfull in explaining the formation of a nucleus by adding one
or several nucleons to a full shell (spherical nucleus), because the nucleus
at this stage is still approximately spherical. But for a nucleus between
two closed shells, it is not spherical and the collective motion of a number
of nucleons become much more important. For example, the experimental
values of nuclear quadrupole moment are many times larger than the values
calculated from a single particle moving in a central ﬁeld for a nucleus
between full shells. This led to the collective model, which, by considering
the collective motion of nucleons, gives rise to vibrational and rotational
energy levels for nuclides in the ranges of 60 < A < 150 and 190 < A < 220,
150 < A < 190 and A > 220 respectively:
2060
Discuss brieﬂy the chief experimental systematics which led to the shell
model description for nuclear states. Give several examples of nuclei which
correspond to closed shells and indicate which shells are closed.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The main experimental evidence in support of the nuclear shell model is
the existence of magic numbers. When the number of the neutrons or of the
protons in a nucleus is 2, 8, 20, 28, 50, 82 and 126 (for neutrons only), the
Nuclear Physics 291
nucleus is very stable. In nature the abundance of nuclides with such magic
numbers are larger than those of the nearby numbers. Among all the stable
nuclides, those of neutron numbers 20, 28, 50 and 82 have more isotones,
those of proton numbers 8, 20, 28, 50 and 82 have more stable isotopes, than
the nearby nuclides. When the number of neutrons or protons in a nuclide
is equal to a magic number, the binding energy measured experimentally is
quite diﬀerent from that given by the liquiddrop model. The existence of
such magic numbers implies the existence of shell structure inside a nucleus
similar to the electron energy levels in an atom.
4
He is a doublemagic nucleus; its protons and neutrons each ﬁll up the
ﬁrst main shell.
16
O is also a doublemagic nucleus, whose protons and neu
trons each ﬁll up the ﬁrst and second main shells.
208
Pb is a doublemagic
nucleus, whose protons ﬁll up to the sixth main shell, while whose neutrons
ﬁll up to the seventh main shell. Thus these nuclides all have closed shells.
2061
(a) Discuss the standard nuclear shell model. In particular, characterize
the successive shells according to the singleparticle terms that describe the
shell, i.e., the principal quantum number n, the orbital angular momentum
quantum number l, and the total angular momentum quantum number
j (spectroscopic notation is useful here, e.g., 2s
1/2
, 1p
3/2
, etc..). Discuss
brieﬂy some of the basic evidence in support of the shell model.
(b) Consider a nuclear level corresponding to a closed shell plus a single
proton in a state with the angular momentum quantum numbers l and j.
Of course j = l ± 1/2. Let g
p
be the empirical gyromagnetic ratio of the
free proton. Compute the gyromagnetic ratio for the level in question, for
each of the two cases j = l + 1/2 and j = l −1/2.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The basic ideas of the nuclear shell model are the following. Firstly
we assume each nucleon moves in an average ﬁeld which is the sum of the
actions of the other nucleons on it. For a nucleus nearly spherically in
shape, the average ﬁeld is closely represented by a central ﬁeld. Second, we
assume that the lowlying levels of a nucleus are ﬁlled up with nucleons in
accordance with Pauli’s principle. As collisions between nucleons cannot
cause a transition and change their states, all the nucleons can maintain
292 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.11
their states of motion, i.e., they move independently in the nucleus. We can
take for the average central ﬁeld a Woods–Saxon potential well compatible
with the characteristics of the interaction between nucleons, and obtain the
energy levels by quantum mechanical methods. Considering the spinorbital
interaction, we get the singleparticle energy levels (Fig. 2.11), which can
be ﬁlled up with nucleons one by one. Note that each level has a degeneracy
2j +1. So up to the ﬁrst 5 shells as shown, the total number of protons or
neutrons accommodated are 2, 8, 20, 28 and 50.
The main experimental evidence for the shell model is the existence of
magic numbers. Just like the electrons outside a nucleus in an atom, if
the numbers of neutrons on protons in a nucleus is equal to some ‘magic
number’ (8,20,28,50 or 82), the nucleus has greater stability, larger binding
energy and abundance, and many more stable isotopes.
(b) According to the shell model, the total angular momentum of the
nucleons in a closed shell is zero, so is the magnetic moment. This means
that the magnetic moment and angular momentum of the nucleus are de
termined by the single proton outside the closed shell.
As
µ
j
= µ
l
+µ
s
,
i.e.,
g
j
j = g
l
l +g
s
s ,
we have
g
j
j j = g
l
l j +g
s
s j .
With
l j =
1
2
(j
2
+l
2
−s
2
) =
1
2
[j(j + 1) +l(l + 1) −s(s + 1)] ,
s j =
1
2
(j
2
+s
2
−l
2
) =
1
2
[j(j + 1) +s(s + 1) −l(l + 1)] ,
Nuclear Physics 293
we have
g
j
= g
l
j(j + 1) +l(l + 1) −s(s + 1)
2j(j + 1)
+g
s
j(j + 1) +s(s + 1) −l(l + 1)
2j(j + 1)
.
For proton, g
l
= 1, g
s
= g
p
, the gyromagnetic ratio for free proton (l =
0, j = s), s =
1
2
. Hence we have
g
j
=
2j −1
2j
+
g
p
2j
for j = l + 1/2 ,
1
j + 1
j +
3
2
−
g
p
2
for j = l −1/2 .
2062
The energy levels of the threedimensional isotropic harmonic oscillator
are given by
E = (2n +l + 3/2)ω =
N +
3
2
ω .
In application to the singleparticle nuclear model ω is ﬁtted as
44A
−
1
3
MeV.
(a) By considering corrections to the oscillator energy levels relate the
levels for N ≤ 3 to the shell model singleparticle level scheme. Draw an en
ergy level diagram relating the shell model energy levels to the unperturbed
oscillator levels.
(b) Predict the ground state spins and parities of the following nuclei
using the shell model:
3
2
He,
17
8
O,
34
19
K,
41
20
Ca .
(c) Strong electric dipole transitions are not generally observed to con
nect the ground state of a nucleus to excited levels lying in the ﬁrst 5 MeV
of excitation. Using the singleparticle model, explain this observation and
predict the excitation energy of the giant dipole nuclear resonance.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Using LS coupling, we have the splitting of the energy levels of a
harmonic oscillator as shown in Fig. 2.12.
294 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.12
(b) According to Fig. 2.12 we have the following:
3
2
He: The last unpaired nucleon is a neutron of state 1s1
2
, so J
π
= (1/2)
+
.
17
8
O: The last unpaired nucleon is a neutron of state 1d
5/2
, so J
π
= (5/2)
+
.
34
19
K: The last two unpaired nucleons are a proton of state 2s1
2
and a neutron
of state 1d
3/2
, so J
π
= 1
+
.
41
20
Ca: The last unpaired nucleon is a neutron of state 1f
7/2
, so J
π
= (7/2)
−
.
(c) The selection rules for electric dipole transition are
∆J = J
f
−J
i
= 0, 1, ∆π = −1 ,
where J is the nuclear spin, π is the nuclear parity. As ω = 44A
−
1
3
MeV,
ω > 5 MeV for a nucleus. When N increases by 1, the energy level
increases by ∆E = ω > 5 MeV. This means that excited states higher than
the ground state by less than 5 MeV have the same N and parity as the
latter. As electric dipole transition requires ∆π = −1, such excited states
cannot connect to the ground state through an electric dipole transition.
However, in LS coupling the energy diﬀerence between levels of diﬀerent
N can be smaller than 5 MeV, especially for heavy nuclei, so that electric
dipole transition may still be possible.
The giant dipole nuclear resonance can be thought of as a phenomenon
in which the incoming photon separates the protons and neutrons in the
nucleus, increasing the potential energy, and causing the nucleus to vibrate.
Nuclear Physics 295
Resonant absorption occurs when the photon frequency equals resonance
frequency of the nucleus.
2063
To some approximation, a medium weight nucleus can be regarded as
a ﬂatbottomed potential with rigid walls. To simplify this picture still
further, model a nucleus as a cubical box of length equal to the nuclear
diameter. Consider a nucleus of iron56 which has 28 protons and 28 neu
trons. Estimate the kinetic energy of the highest energy nucleon. Assume
a nuclear diameter of 10
−12
cm.
(Columbia)
Solution:
The potential of a nucleon can be written as
V (x, y, z) =
∞, [x[, [y[, [z[ >
a
2
,
0, [x[, [y[, [z[ <
a
2
,
where a is the nuclear diameter. Assume the Schr¨ odinger equation
−
2
2m
∇
2
Ψ(x, y, z) +V (x, y, z)Ψ(x, y, z) = EΨ(x, y, z)
can be separated in the variables by letting Ψ(x, y, z) = Ψ(x)Ψ(y)Ψ(z).
Substitution gives
−
2
2m
d
2
dx
2
i
Ψ(x
i
) +V (x
i
)Ψ(x
i
) = E
i
Ψ(x
i
) ,
with
V (x
i
) =
∞, [x
i
[ >
a
2
,
0, [x
i
[ <
a
2
,
i = 1, 2, 3; x
1
= x, x
2
= y, x
3
= z, E = E
1
+E
2
+E
3
.
Solving the equations we have
Ψ(x
i
) = A
i
sin(k
i
x
i
) +B
i
cos(k
i
x
i
)
296 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
with k
i
=
√
2mE
i
. The boundary condition Ψ(x
i
)[
x
i
=±
a
2
= 0 gives
Ψ(x
i
) =
A
i
sin
nπ
a
x
i
, with n even,
B
i
cos
nπ
a
x
i
, with n odd,
and hence
E
xi
=
k
2
xi
2
2m
=
π
2
n
2
xi
2
2ma
2
, n
x
= 1, 2, 3, . . . ,
E = E
0
(n
2
x
+n
2
y
+ n
2
z
) ,
where
E
0
=
π
2
2
2ma
2
=
π
2
(c)
2
2mc
2
a
2
=
π
2
(1.97 10
−11
)
2
2 939 10
−24
= 2.04 MeV.
(n
x
, n
y
, n
z
)Number Number E
of states of nucleons
(111) 1 4 3E
0
(211)
(121) 3 12 6E
0
(112)
(221)
(122) 3 12 9E
0
(212)
(311)
(131) 3 12 11E
0
(113)
(222) 1 4 12E
0
(123)
(132)
(231) 6 24 14E
0
(213)
(312)
(321)
Nuclear Physics 297
According to Pauli’s principle, each state can accommodate one pair of
neutrons and one pair of protons, as shown in the table.
For
56
Fe, E
max
= 14E
0
= 2.04 14 = 28.6 MeV.
2064
Light nuclei in the shell model.
(a) Using the harmonicoscillator shell model, describe the expected
conﬁgurations for the ground states of the light stable nuclei with A ≤ 4,
specifying also their total L, S, J and T quantum numbers and parity.
(b) For
4
He, what states do you expect to ﬁnd at about one oscillator
quantum of excitation energy?
(c) What radioactive decay modes are possible for each of these states?
(d) Which of these states do you expect to ﬁnd in
4
H? Which do you
expect to ﬁnd in
4
Be?
(e) Which of the excited states of
4
He do you expect to excite in α
particle inelastic scattering? Which would you expect to be excited by
proton inelastic scattering?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) According to Fig. 2.11 we have
A = 1: The stable nucleus
1
H has conﬁguration: p(1s
1/2
)
1
,
L = 0, S = 1/2, J
p
= 1/2
+
, T = 1/2 .
A = 2: The stable nucleus
2
H has conﬁguration: p(1s
1/2
)
1
, n(1s
1/2
)
1
,
L = 0, S = 1, J
p
= 1
+
, T = 0 .
A = 3: The stable nucleus
3
He has conﬁguration: p(1s
1/2
)
2
, n(1s
1/2
)
1
,
L = 0, S = 1/2, J
p
= 1/2
+
, T = 1/2 .
A = 4: The stable nucleus
4
He has conﬁguration: p(1s
1/2
)
2
, n(1s
1/2
)
2
,
L = 0, S = 0, J
p
= 0
+
, T = 0 .
298 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) Near the ﬁrst excited state of the harmonic oscillator, the energy
level is split into two levels 1p
3/2
and 1p
1/2
because of the LS coupling of
the p state. The isospin of
4
He is T
z
= 0, T = 0 for the ground state. So
the possible excitated states are the following:
(i) When a proton (or neutron) is of 1p
3/2
state, the other of 1s
1/2
state,
the possible coupled states are 1
−
, 2
−
(T = 0 or T = 1).
(ii) When a proton (or neutron) is of 1p
1/2
state, the other of 1s
1/2
state, the possible coupled states are 0
−
, 1
−
(T = 0 or 1).
(iii) When two protons (or two neutrons) are of 1p
1/2
(or 1p
3/2
) state,
the possible coupled state is 0
+
(T = 0).
(c) The decay modes of the possible states of
4
He are:
J
p
T Decay modes
Ground state: 0
+
0 Stable
Excited states: 0
+
0 p
0
−
0 p, n
2
−
0 p, n
2
−
1 p, n
1
−
1 p, nγ
0
−
1 p, n
1
−
1 p, nγ
1
−
0 p, n, d
(d)
4
H has isospin T = 1, so it can have all the states above with T = 1,
namely 2
−
, 1
−
, 0
−
.
The isospin of
4
Be is T ≥ 2, and hence cannot have any of the states
above.
(e) α − α scattering is between two identical nuclei, so the total wave
function of the ﬁnal state is exchange symmetric and the total angular
momentum is conserved
In the initial state, the two αparticles have L = 0, 2, . . .
In the ﬁnal state, the two αparticles are each of 0
−
state, L = 0, 2 . . .
Thus an αparticle can excite
4
He to 0
−
state while a proton can excite
it to 2
−
, or 0
−
states.
Nuclear Physics 299
2065
Explain the following statements on the basis of physical principles:
(a) The motion of individual nucleons inside a nucleus may be regarded
as independent from each other even though they interact very strongly.
(b) All the eveneven nuclei have 0
+
ground state.
(c) Nuclei with outer shells partially ﬁlled by odd number of nucleons
tend to have permanent deformation.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
(a) The usual treatment is based on the assumption that the interaction
among nucleons can be replaced by the action on a nucleon of the mean
ﬁeld produced by the other nucleons. The nucleons are considered to move
independently of one another. Despite the high nucleon density inside a
nucleus it is assumed that the individual interactions between nucleons
do not manifest macroscopically. Since nucleons are fermions, all the low
energy levels of the ground state are ﬁlled up and the interactions among
nucleons cannot excite a nucleon to a higher level. We can then employ a
model of moderately weak interaction to describe the strong interactions
among nucleons.
(b) According to the nuclear shell model, the protons and neutrons in
an eveneven nucleus tend to pair oﬀ separately, i.e., each pair of neutrons
or protons are in the same orbit and have opposite spins, so that the total
angular momentum and total spin of each pair of nucleons are zero. It
follows that the total angular momentum of the nucleus is zero. The parity
of each pair of nucleons is (−1)
2l
= +1, and so the total parity of the
nucleus is positive. Hence for an eveneven nucleus, J
p
= 0
+
.
(c) Nucleons in the outermost partiallyﬁlled shell can be considered as
moving around a nuclear system of zero spin. For nucleons with l = 0, the
orbits are ellipses. Because such odd nucleons have ﬁnite spins and magnetic
moments, which can polarize the nuclear system, the nucleus tends to have
permanent deformation.
2066
Explain the following:
300 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(a) The binding energy of adding an extra neutron to a
3
He nucleus
(or of adding an extra proton to a
3
H nucleus) to form
4
He is greater than
20 MeV. However neither a neutron nor a proton will bind stably to
4
He.
(b) Natural radioactive nuclei such as
232
Th and
238
U decay in stages,
by α and βemissions, to isotopes of Pb. The halflives of
232
Th and
238
U
are greater than 10
9
years and the ﬁnal Pbisotopes are stable; yet the
intermediate αdecay stages have much shorter halflives – some less than
1 hour or even 1 second – and successive stages show generally a decrease
in halflife and an increase in αdecay energy as the ﬁnal Pbisotope is
approached.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a)
4
He is a doublemagic nucleus in which the shells of neutrons and
protons are all full. So it is very stable and cannot absorb more neutrons or
protons. Also, when a
3
He captures a neutron, or a
3
H captures a proton
to form
4
He, the energy emitted is very high because of the high binding
energy.
(b) The reason that successive stages of the decay of
232
Th and
238
U
show a decrease in halflife and an increase in αdecay energy as the ﬁnal
Pbisotopes are approached is that the Coulomb barrier formed between the
αparticle and the daughter nucleus during αemission obstructs the decay.
When the energy of the αparticle increases, the probability of its pene
trating the barrier increases, and so the halflife of the nucleus decreases.
From the Geiger–Nuttall formula for αdecays
log λ = A−BE
−1/2
d
,
where A and B are constants with A diﬀerent for diﬀerent radioactivity
series, λ is the αdecay constant and E
d
is the decay energy, we see that a
small change in decay energy corresponds to a large change in halflife.
We can deduce from the liquiddrop model that the αdecay energy
E
d
increases with A. However, experiments show that for the radioactive
family
232
Th and
238
U, E
d
decreases as A increases. This shows that the
liquiddrop model can only describe the general trend of binding energy
change with A and Z, but not the ﬂuctuation of the change, which can be
explained only by the nuclear shell model.
Nuclear Physics 301
2067
(a) What spinparity and isospin would the shell model predict for the
ground states of
13
5
B,
13
6
C, and
13
7
N? (Recall that the p
3/2
shell lies below
the p
1/2
.)
(b) Order the above isobaric triad according to mass with the lowest
mass ﬁrst. Brieﬂy justify your order.
(c) Indicate how you could estimate rather closely the energy diﬀerence
between the two lowestmass members of the above triad.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The isospin of the ground state of a nucleus is I = [Z − N[/2,
where N, Z are the numbers of protons and neutrons inside the nucleus
respectively. The spinparity of the ground state of a nucleus is decided by
that of the last unpaired nucleon. Thus (Fig. 2.11)
13
5
B : J
p
=
3
2
−
, as the unpaired proton is in 1p3
2
state ,
I =
3
2
;
13
6
C : J
p
=
1
2
−
, as the unpaired neutron is in 1p
1/2
state ,
I =
1
2
;
13
7
N : J
p
=
1
2
−
, as the unpaired proton is in 1p
1/2
state ,
I =
1
2
.
(b) Ordering the nuclei with the lowestmass ﬁrst gives
13
6
C,
13
7
N,
13
5
B.
13
6
C and
13
7
N belong to the same isospin doublet. Their mass diﬀerence
arises from the diﬀerence in Coulomb energy and the mass diﬀerence be
tween neutron and proton, with the former being the chieﬂy cause.
13
7
N has
one more proton than
13
6
C, and so has greater Coulomb energy and hence
larger mass. Whereas
13
5
B has fewer protons, it has more neutrons and is
302 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
far from the line of stable nuclei and so is less tightly formed. Hence it has
the largest mass.
(c) Consider the two lowestmass members of the above triad,
13
6
C and
13
6
N. If the nuclei are approximated by spheres of uniform charge, each will
have electrostatic (Coulomb) energy W = 3Q
2
/5R, R being the nuclear
radius R ≈ 1.4A
1/2
fm. Hence the mass diﬀerence is
[M(
13
7
N) −M(
13
6
C)]c
2
=
3
5R
(Q
2
N
−Q
2
C
) −[M
n
−M(
1
H)]c
2
=
3c
5R
e
2
c
(7
2
−6
2
) −0.78
= 0.6
197
137
49 −36
1.4 13
1/3
−0.78
= 2.62 MeV.
2068
In the nuclear shell model, orbitals are ﬁlled in the order
1s
1/2
, 1p
3/2
, 1p
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 2s
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, etc.
(a) What is responsible for the splitting between the p
3/2
and p
1/2
or
bitals?
(b) In the model,
16
O (Z = 8) is a good closedshell nucleus and has
spin and parity J
π
= 0
+
. What are the predicted J
π
values for
15
O and
17
O?
(c) For oddodd nuclei a range of J
π
values is allowed. What are the
allowed values for
18
F (Z = 9)?
(d) For eveneven nuclei (e.g. for
18
O) J
π
is always 0
+
. How is this
observation explained?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The splitting between p
3/2
and p
1/2
is caused by the spinorbit
coupling of the nucleons.
(b) Each orbital can accommodate 2j +1 protons and 2j +1 neutrons.
Thus the proton conﬁguration of
15
O is (1s
1/2
)
2
(1p
3/2
)
4
(1p
1/2
)
2
, and its
Nuclear Physics 303
neutron conﬁguration is (1s
1/2
)
2
(1p
3/2
)
4
(1p
1/2
)
1
. As the protons all pair
up but the neutrons do not, the spinparity of
15
O is determined by the
angular momentum and parity of the unpaired neutron in the 1p1
2
state.
Hence the spinparity of
15
O of J
p
= 1/2
−
.
The proton conﬁguration of
17
O is the same as that of
15
O, but its neu
tron conﬁguration is (1s
1/2
)
2
(1p
3/2
)
4
(1p
1/2
)
2
(1d
5/2
)
1
. So the spinparity of
17
O is that of the neutron in the 1d
5/2
state, J
p
= 5/2
+
.
(c) The neutron conﬁguration of
18
F is (1s
1/2
)
2
(1p
3/2
)
4
(1p
1/2
)
2
(1d
5/2
)
1
,
its proton conﬁguration is (1s
1/2
)
2
(1p
3/2
)
4
(1p
1/2
)
2
(1d
5/2
)
1
. As there are
two unpaired nucleons, a range of J
p
values are allowed, being decided by
the neutron and proton in the 1d
5/2
states. As l
n
= 2, l
p
= 2, the parity
is π = (−1)
l
n
+l
p
= +1. As j
n
= 5/2, j
p
= 5/2, the possible spins are
J = 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Thus the possible values of the spinparity of
18
F are
0
+
, 1
+
, 2
+
, 3
+
, 4
+
, 5
+
. (It is in fact 1
+
.)
(d) For an eveneven nucleus, as an even number of nucleons are in
the lowest energy levels, the number of nucleons in every energy level is
even. As an even number of nucleons in the same energy level have an
gular momenta of the same absolute value, and the angular momenta of
paired nucleons are aligned oppositely because of the pairing force, the to
tal angular momentum of the nucleons in an energy level is zero. Since
all the proton shells and neutron shells have zero angular momentum, the
spin of an eveneven nucleus is zero. As the number of nucleons in every
energy level of an eveneven nucleus is even, the parity of the nucleus is
positive.
2069
The singleparticle energies for neutrons and protons in the vicinity of
208
82
Pb
126
are given in Fig. 2.13. Using this ﬁgure as a guide, estimate or
evaluate the following.
(a) The spins and parities of the ground state and the ﬁrst two excited
states of
207
Pb.
(b) The ground state quadrupole moment of
207
Pb.
(c) The magnetic moment of the ground state of
209
Pb.
(d) The spins and parities of the lowest states of
208
83
Bi (nearly degener
ate). What is the energy of the ground state of
208
Bi relative to
208
Pb?
304 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.13
(e) The isobaric analog state in
208
Bi of the ground state of
208
Pb is deﬁned
as
T
+
[
208
Pb (ground state)`
with T
+
=
¸
i
t
+
(i), where t
+
changes a neutron into a proton. What
are the quantum numbers (spin, parity, isospin, z component of isospin) of
the isobaric analog state? Estimate the energy of the isobaric analog state
above the ground state of
208
Pb due to the Coulomb interaction.
(f) Explain why one does not observe superallowed Fermi electron or
positron emission in heavy nuclei.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a)
207
82
Pb consists of full shells with a vacancy for a neutron in p
1/2
level.
The spinparity of the ground state is determined by that of the unpaired
neutron in p
1/2
and so is (1/2)
−
. The ﬁrst excited state is formed by a
f
5/2
neutron transiting to p
1/2
. Its J
p
is determined by the single neutron
vacancy left in f
5/2
level and is (5/2)
−
. The second excited state is formed
Nuclear Physics 305
by a p
3/2
neutron reﬁlling the f
5/2
vacancy (that is to say a p
3/2
neutron
goes to p
1/2
directly). J
p
of the nucleus in the second excited state is then
determined by the single neutron vacancy in p
3/2
level and is
3
2
−
. Hence
the ground and ﬁrst two excited states of
207
Pb have J
p
= (
1
2
)
−
, (
5
2
)
−
, (
3
2
)
−
.
(b) The nucleon shells of
207
82
Pb are full except there is one neutron short
in p
1/2
levels. An electric quadrupole moment can arise from polarization
at the nuclear center caused by motion of neutrons. But as J = 1/2, the
electric quadrupole moment of
207
Pb is zero.
(c)
209
82
Pb has a neutron in g
9/2
outside the full shells. As the orbital
motion of a neutron makes no contribution to the nuclear magnetic moment,
the total magnetic moment equals to that of the neutron itself:
µ(
209
Pb) = −1.91µ
N
, µ
N
being the nuclear magneton.
(d) For
208
83
Bi, the ground state has an unpaired proton and an unpaired
neutron, the proton being in h
9/2
, the neutron being in p
1/2
. As J =
1/2+9/2 = 5 (since both nucleon spins are antiparallel to l), l
p
= 5, l
n
= 1
and so the parity is (−1)
l
p
+l
n
= +, the states has J
p
= 5
+
. The ﬁrst
excited state is formed by a neutron in f
5/2
transiting to p
1/2
and its spin
parity is determined by the unpaired f
5/2
neutron and h
9/2
proton. Hence
J = 5/2 +9/2 = 7, parity is (−1)
1+5
= +, and so J
p
= 7
+
. Therefore, the
two lowest states have spinparity 5
+
and 7
+
.
The energy diﬀerence between the ground states of
208
Bi and
208
Pb can
be obtained roughly from Fig. 2.13. As compared with
208
Pb,
208
Bi has
one more proton at h
9/2
and one less neutron at p
1/2
we have
∆E = E(Bi) −E(Pb) ≈ 7.2 −3.5 + 2∆ ≈ 3.7 + 1.5 = 5.2 MeV,
where ∆ = m
n
−m
p
, i.e., the ground state of
208
Bi is 5.2 MeV higher than
that of
208
Pb.
(e) As T
+
only changes the third component of the isospin,
T
+
[T, T
3
` = A[T, T
3
+ 1` .
Thus the isobaric analog state should have the same spin, parity and isospin,
but a diﬀerent third component of the isospin of the original nucleus.
As
208
Pb has J
p
= 0
+
, T = 22, T
3
= −22,
208
Bi, the isobaric analog
state of
208
Pb, has the same J
p
and T but a diﬀerent T
3
= −21. The
306 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
energy diﬀerence between the two isobaric analog states is
∆E ≈
6
5
Ze
2
R
+ (m
H
−m
n
)c
2
=
6
5
Zc
R
e
2
c
−0.78
=
6 82 197
5 1.2 208
1/3
137
−0.78 = 19.1 MeV.
(f) The selection rules for superallowed Fermi transition are ∆J = 0,
∆P = +, ∆T = 0, so the wave function of the daughter nucleus is very
similar to that of the parent. As the isospin is a good quantum number
superallowed transitions occur generally between isospin multiplets. For a
heavy nucleus, however, the diﬀerence in Coulomb energy between isobaric
analog states can be 10 MeV or higher, and so the isobaric analogy state
is highly excited. As such, they can emit nucleons rather than undergo
βdecay.
2070
The simplest model for lowlying states of nuclei with N and Z between
20 and 28 involves only f
7/2
nucleons.
(a) Using this model predict the magnetic dipole moments of
41
20
Ca
21
and
41
21
Sc
20
. Estimate crudely the electric quadrupole moments for these
two cases as well.
(b) What states are expected in
42
20
Ca according to an application of this
model? Calculate the magnetic dipole and electric quadrupole moments for
these states. Sketch the complete decay sequence expected experimentally
for the highest spin state.
(c) The ﬁrst excited state in
43
21
Ca
23
is shown below in Fig. 2.14 with
a halflife of 34 picoseconds for decay to the ground state. Estimate the
lifetime expected for this state on the basis of a singleparticle model. The
Fig. 2.14
Nuclear Physics 307
experimental values are
µ
n
= −1.91µ
N
, µ(
41
Ca) = −1.59µ
N
µ
p
= 2.79µ
N
, µ(
41
Sc) = 5.43µ
N
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a)
41
Ca has a neutron and
41
Sc has a proton outside closed shells in
state 1f
7/2
. As closed shells do not contribute to the nuclear magnetic
moment, the latter is determined by the extrashell nucleons. The nuclear
magnetic moment is given by
µ = gjµ
N
,
where j is the total angular momentum, µ
N
is the nuclear magneton. For
a single nucleon in a central ﬁeld, the gfactor is (Problem 2061)
g =
(2j −1)g
l
+g
s
2j
for j = l +
1
2
,
g =
(2j + 3)g
l
−g
s
2(j + 1)
for j = l −
1
2
.
For neutron, g
l
= 0, g
s
= g
n
= −
1.91
1
2
= −3.82. As l = 3 and j =
7
2
= 3+
1
2
,
we have for
41
Ca
µ(
41
Ca) = −
3.82
2j
jµ
N
= −1.91µ
N
.
For proton, g
l
= 1, g
s
= g
p
=
2.79
1/2
= 5.58. As j =
7
2
= 3 +
1
2
, we have
for
41
Sc
µ(
41
Sc) =
(7 −1) + 5.58
7
7
2
µ
N
= 5.79µ
N
.
Note that these values are only in rough agreement with the given experi
mental values.
The electric quadrupole moment of
41
Sc, which has a single proton
outside closed shells, is given by
Q(
41
Sc) = −e
2
'r
2
`
2j −1
2(j + 1)
= −'r
2
`
2j −1
2(j + 1)
,
308 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where 'r
2
` is the meansquare distance from the center and the proton
charge is taken to be one. For an orderofmagnitude estimate take 'r
2
` =
(1.2 A
1/3
)
2
fm
2
. Then
Q(
41
Sc) = −
6
9
(1.2 41
1
3
)
2
= −1.14 10
−25
cm
2
.
41
Ca has a neutron outside the full shells. Its electric quadrupole moment
is caused by the polarization of the neutron relative to the nucleus center
and is
Q(
41
Ca) ≈
Z
(A−1)
2
[Q(
41
Sc)[ = 1.43 10
−27
cm
2
.
(b) As shown in Fig. 2.15 the ground state of
42
Ca nucleus is 0
+
. The
two last neutrons, which are in f
7/2
can be coupled to form levels of J =
7, 6, 5 . . . , 0 and positive parity. Taking into account the antisymmetry for
identical particles, the possible levels are those with J = 6, 4, 2, 0. (We
require L +S = even, see Problem 2054. As S = 0, J = even.)
Fig. 2.15
The magnetic dipole moment µ of a twonucleon system is given by
µ = gJµ
N
= (g
1
j
1
+g
2
j
2
)µ
N
with J = j
1
+j
2
. As
Nuclear Physics 309
gJ
2
= g
1
j
1
J +g
2
j
2
J,
j
1
J =
1
2
(J
2
+j
2
1
−j
2
2
) ,
j
2
J =
1
2
(J
2
+j
2
2
−j
2
1
) ,
we have
gJ
2
=
1
2
(g
1
+g
2
)J
2
+
1
2
(g
1
−g
2
)(j
2
1
−j
2
2
) .
or
g =
1
2
(g
1
+g
2
) +
1
2
(g
1
−g
2
)
j
1
(j
1
+ 1) −j
2
(j
2
+ 1)
J(J + 1)
.
For
42
Ca, the two nucleons outside full shells each has j = 7/2. As
g
1
= g
2
=
−3.82
j
1
, j
1
=
7
2
,
we have µ(
42
Ca) = g
1
Jµ
N
= −1.09Jµ
N
with J = 0, 2, 4, 6.
The groundstate quadrupole moment of
42
Ca is Q = 0. One can get
the excited state quadrupole moment using the reduced transition rate for
γtransition
B(E2, 2
+
→0
+
) =
e
2
Q
2
0
16π
where Q
0
is the intrinsic electric quadrupole moment. The ﬁrst excited
state 2
+
of
42
Ca has excitation energy 1.524 MeV and
B(E2 : 2
+
→0
+
) = 81.5e
2
fm
4
,
or
Q
0
=
√
16π 81.5 = 64 fm
2
.
For other states the quadrupole moments are given by
Q =
K
2
−J(J + 1)
(J + 1)(2J + 3)
Q
0
= −
J(J + 1)Q
0
(J + 1)(2J + 3)
=
−J
2J + 3
Q
0
as K = 0. Thus Q = 18.3 fm
2
for J = 2, 23.3 fm
2
for J = 4, and 25.6 fm
2
for J = 6.
(c) The selection rule for the γtransition (
5
2
)
−
→ (
7
2
)
−
is (
5
2
−
7
2
) ≤
L ≤
5
2
+
7
2
, i.e. L = 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, with the lowest order having the highest
310 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
probability, for which parity is conserved. Then the most probable are
magnetic dipole transition M
1
for which ∆P = −(−1)
1+1
= +, or electric
quadrupole transition E2 for which ∆P = (−1)
2
= +. According to the
singleparticle model (Problem 2093),
λ
M1
=
1.9(L + 1)
L[(2L + 1)!!]
2
3
L + 3
2
E
γ
197
2L+1
(1.4 A
1/3
)
2L−2
10
21
=
1.9 2
3
2
3
4
2
0.37
197
3
(1.4 43
1/3
)
0
10
21
= 1.57 10
12
s
−1
,
λ
E2
=
4.4(L + 1)
L[(2L + 1)!!]
2
¸
3
L + 3
2
E
γ
197
2L+1
(1.4 A
1/3
)
2L
10
21
=
4.4 3
2 (5 3)
2
3
L + 3
2
0.37
197
5
(1.4 43
1/3
)
4
10
21
= 1.4 10
8
s
−1
.
As λ
E2
<λ
M1
, E2 could be neglected, and so
T
1/2
≈
ln2
λ
M1
=
ln2
1.57 10
12
= 4.4 10
−13
s .
This result from the singleparticle model is some 20 times smaller than
the experimental value. The discrepancy is probably due to γtransition
caused by change of the collective motion of the nucleons.
2071
The variation of the binding energy of a single neutron in a “realistic”
potential model of the neutronnucleus interaction is shown in Fig. 2.16.
(a) What are the neutron separation energies for
40
20
Ca and
208
82
Pb?
(b) What is the best neutron magic number between those for
40
Ca and
208
Pb?
(c) Draw the spectrum including spins, parities and approximate relative
energy levels for the lowest ﬁve states you would expected in
210
Pb and
explain.
Nuclear Physics 311
Fig. 2.16
Fig. 2.17
312 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(d) The swave neutron strength function S
0
is deﬁned as the ratio of
the average neutron width 'Γ
n
` to the average local energy spacing 'D`:
S
0
= 'Γ
n
`/'D` .
Figure 2.17 shows the variation of the thermal neutron strength function
S
0
with mass number A. Explain the location of the single peak around
A ≈ 50, and the split peak around A ≈ 160. Why is the second peak split?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The outermost neutron of
40
Ca is the twentieth one. Figure 2.16
gives for A = 40 that the last neutron is in 1d
3/2
shell with separation
energy of about 13 MeV.
208
Pb has full shells, the last pair of neutrons being in 3p
1/2
shell. From
Fig. 2.16 we note that for A = 208, the separation energy of each neutron
is about 3 MeV.
(b) The neutron magic numbers between
40
Ca and
208
Pb are 28, 50
and 82. For nuclei of N = Z, at the neutron magic number N = 28
the separation energies are about 13 MeV. At neutron number N = 50,
the separation energies are also about 13 MeV. At N=82, the separation
energies are about 12 MeV. However, for heavy nuclei, there are more
neutrons than protons, so A < 2N. On account of this, for the nuclei
of magic numbers 50 and 82, the separation energies are somewhat less
than those given above. At the magic number 28 the separation energy is
highest, and so this is the best neutron magic number.
(c) The last two neutrons of
210
Pb are in 2g
9/2
shell, outside of the
doublefull shells. As the two nucleons are in the same orbit and will nor
mally pair up to J = 0, the eveneven nucleus has ground state 0
+
.
The two outermost neutrons in 2g
9/2
of
210
Pb can couple to form states
of J = 9, 8, 7 . . . . However a twoneutron system has isospin T = 1. As the
antisymmetry of the total wave function requires J +T = odd, the allowed
J are 8, 6, 4, 2, 0 and the parity is positive. Thus the spinparities of the
lowest ﬁve states are 8
+
, 6
+
, 4
+
, 2
+
, 0
+
. Because of the residual interaction,
the ﬁve states are of diﬀerent energy levels as shown in Fig. 2.18.
(d) Near A = 50 the swave strength function has a peak. This is
because when A = 50 the excitation energy of 3s energy level roughly equals
the neutron binding energy. A calculation using the optical model gives the
Nuclear Physics 313
Fig. 2.18
shape of the peak as shown in Fig. 2.17 (solid curve). When 150 < A < 190,
the swave strength function again peaks due to the equality of excitation
energy of 4s neutron and its binding energy. However, nuclear deformation
in this region is greater, particularly near A = 160 to 170, where the nuclei
have a tendency to deform permanently. Here the binding energies diﬀer
appreciably from those given by the singleparticle model: the peak of the
swave strength function becomes lower and splits into two smaller peaks.
2072
Figure 2.19 gives the lowlying states of
18
O with their spinparity as
signments and energies (in MeV) relative to the 0
+
ground state.
Fig. 2.19
(a) Explain why these J
p
values are just what one would expect in the
standard shell model.
(b) What J
p
values are expected for the lowlying states of
19
O?
(c) Given the energies (relative to the ground state) of these
18
O levels, it
is possible within the shell model, ignoring interconﬁguration interactions,
314 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
to compute the energy separations of the
19
O levels. However, this requires
familiarity with complicated Clebsch–Gordon coeﬃcients. To simplify mat
ters, consider a ﬁctitious situation where the 2
+
and 4
+
levels of
18
O have
the energies 2 MeV and 6
2
3
MeV respectively. For this ﬁctitious world,
compute the energies of the lowlying
19
O levels.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) In a simple shell model, ignoring the residual interactions between
nucleons and considering only the spinorbit coupling, we have for a system
of A nucleons,
H = ΣH
i
,
with
H
i
= T
i
+V
i
,
V
i
= V
i
0
(r) +f(r)S
i
l
i
,
H
i
Ψ
i
= E
i
Ψ
i
,
Ψ =
A
¸
i=1
ψ
i
.
When considering residual interactions, the diﬀerence of energy between
diﬀerent interconﬁgurations of the nucleons in the same level must be taken
into account.
For
18
O nucleus, the two neutrons outside the full shells can ﬁll the
1d
5/2
, 2s
1/2
and 1d
3/2
levels (see Fig. 2.16). When the two nucleons are
in the same orbit, the antisymmetry of the system’s total wave function
requires T + J = odd. As T = 1, J is even. Then the possible ground and
excited states of
18
O are:
(1d
5/2
)
2
: J = 0
+
, 2
+
, 4
+
, T = 1 ,
(1d
5/2
2s
1/2
) : J = 2
+
, T = 1 ,
(2s
1/2
)
2
: J = 0
+
, T = 1 ,
(1d
3/2
)
2
: J = 0
+
, 2
+
, T = 1 .
Nuclear Physics 315
The three lowlying states of
18
O as given in Fig. 2.19, 0
+
, 2
+
, 4
+
, should
then correspond to the conﬁguration (1d
5/2
)
2
. However, when considering
the energies of the levels, using only the (d
5/2
)
2
conﬁguration does not
agree well with experiment. One must also allow mixing the conﬁgurations
1d
5/1
, 2s
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, which gives fairly good agreement with the experimental
values, as shown in Fig. 2.20.
Fig. 2.20
(b) To calculate the lowest levels of
19
O using the simple shell model
and ignoring interconﬁguration interactions, we consider the last unpaired
neutron. According to Fig. 2.16, it can go to 1d
5/2
, 2s
1/2
, or 1d
3/2
. So the
ground state is
5
2
+
, the ﬁrst excited state
1
2
+
, and the second excited
state
3
2
+
.
If interconﬁguration interactions are taken into account, the three neu
trons outside the full shells can go into the 1d
5/2
and 2s
1/2
orbits to form
the following conﬁgurations:
316 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
[(d
5/2
)
3
]
5/2,m
, [(d
5/2
)
2
s
1/2
]
5/2,m
, [d
5/2
(s
1/2
)
2
0
]
5/2,m
, J
p
=
5
2
+
,
[(d
5/2
)
2
0
s
1/2
]
1/2,m
, J
p
=
1
2
+
,
[(d
5/2
)
3
]
3/2,m
, [(d
5/2
)
2
2
s
1/2
]
3/2,m
, J
p
=
3
2
+
.
Moreover, states with J
p
=
7
+
2
,
9
+
2
are also possible.
(c) In the ﬁctitious case the lowest excited states of
18
O are 0
+
, 2
+
, 4
+
with energies 0, 2, 6
2
3
MeV as shown in Fig. 2.21.
Fig. 2.21
This ﬁctitious energy level structure corresponds to the rotational spec
trum of an eveneven nucleus, for in the latter we have
E
2
E
1
=
J
2
(J
2
+ 1)
J
1
(J
1
+ 1)
=
4(4 + 1)
2(2 + 1)
=
6
2
3
2
.
Taking this assumption as valid, one can deduce the moment of inertia I of
18
O. If this assumption can be applied to
19
O also, and if the moments of
inertia of
19
O,
18
O can be taken to be roughly equal, then one can estimate
the energy levels of
19
O. As E
J
=
2
2I
J(J + 1), we have for
18
O
2
2I
=
E
J
J(J + 1)
=
2
2(2 + 1)
=
1
3
MeV.
Nuclear Physics 317
Assume that I is the same for
19
O. From (b) we see that the three lowest
rotational levels of
19
O correspond to J =
5
2
,
7
2
,
9
2
. Hence
E
5/2
= 0, being the ground state of
19
O,
E
7/2
=
1
3
¸
7
2
7
2
+ 1
−
5
2
5
2
+ 1
= 2
1
3
MeV,
E
9/2
=
1
3
1
4
(9 11 −5 7) = 5
1
3
MeV.
Fig. 2.22
2073
The following nonrelativistic Hamiltonians can be used to describe a
system of nucleons:
H
0
=
¸
i
p
2
i
2m
+
1
2
mω
2
0
r
2
i
,
H
1
= H
0
−
¸
i
β
ˆ
l
i
s
i
,
H
2
= H
1
−
¸
i
1
2
mω
2
(2z
2
i
−x
2
i
−y
2
i
) ,
where ω
0
β ω.
318 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(a) For each Hamiltonian H
0
, H
1
, H
2
, identify the exactly and approx
imately conserved quantities of the system. For the ground state of each
model, give the appropriate quantum numbers for the last ﬁlled single
particle orbital when the number n of identical nucleons is 11, 13 and 15.
(b) What important additional features should be included when the
lowlying states of either spherical or deformed nucleons are to be described?
(c) The known levels of Aluminum 27,
27
13
Al
14
, below 5 MeV are shown
in Fig. 2.23. Which states correspond to the predictions of the spherical
and of the deformed models?
(Princeton)
Fig. 2.23
Solution:
(a) For H
0
the exactly conserved quantities are energy E, orbital angular
momentum L, total spin S, total angular momentum J, and parity.
For H
1
the exactly conserved quantities are E, J and parity, the ap
proximately conserved ones are L and S.
For H
2
the exactly conserved quantities are E, the third component of
the total angular momentum J
z
, and parity, the approximately conserved
ones are J, L, S.
As H
0
is an isotropic harmonic oscillator ﬁeld, E
N
=
N +
3
2
ω. The
lowlying states are as follows (Figs. 2.12 and 2.16):
N = 0 gives the ground state 1s
1/2
.
N = 1 gives the p states, 1p
3/2
and 1p
1/2
which are degenerate.
N = 2 gives 2s and 1d states, 1d
5/2
, 2s
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, which are degenerate.
Nuclear Physics 319
When the number of identical nucleons is n = 11, 13, 15, the last ﬁlled
nucleons all have N = 2.
H
1
can be rewritten as
H
1
= H
0
−
¸
i
β(l
i
s
i
) = H
0
−
¸
i
1
2
β[j
i
(j
i
+ 1) −l
i
(l
i
+ 1) −s
i
(s
i
+ 1)] .
The greater is j
i
, the lower is the energy. For this Hamiltonian, some
of the degeneracy is lost: 1p
3/2
and 1p
1/2
are separated, so are 1d
3/2
and
1d
5/2
. 11 or 13 identical nucleons can ﬁll up to the 1d
5/2
state, while for
n = 15, the last nucleon well go into the 2s
1/2
state.
H
2
can be rewritten as
H
2
= H
1
−
¸
i
1
2
mω
2
r
2
i
(3 cos
2
θ −1) ,
which corresponds to a deformed nucleus. For the Hamiltonain, 1p
3/2
,
1d
3/2
, and 1d
5/2
energy levels are split further:
1d
5/2
level is split into
1
2
+
,
3
2
+
,
5
2
+
,
1d
3/2
level is split into
1
2
+
,
3
2
+
,
1p
3/2
level is split into
1
2
−
,
3
2
−
,
Let the deformation parameter be ε. The order of the split energy levels
well depend on ε. According to the singleparticle model of deformed nuclei,
when ε ≈ 0.3 (such as for
27
Al), the orbit of the last nucleon is
3
2
+
of the 1d
5/2
level if n = 11,
5
2
+
of the 1d
5/2
level if n = 13,
1
2
+
of the 2s
1/2
level if n = 15.
(b) For a spherical nucleus, when considering the ground and low excited
states, pairing eﬀect and interconﬁguration interactions are to be included.
For a deformed nucleus, besides the above, the eﬀect of the deforming ﬁeld
on the singleparticle energy levels as well as the collective vibration and
rotation are to be taken into account also.
(c)
27
Al is a deformed nucleus with ε ≈ 0.3. The conﬁgurations of the
14 neutrons and 13 protons in a spherical nucleus are
n :(1s
1/2
)
2
(1p
3/2
)
4
(1p
1/2
)
2
(1d
5/2
)
6
,
n :(1s
1/2
)
2
(1p
3/2
)
4
(1p
1/2
)
2
(1d
5/2
)
5
.
320 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
The ground state is given by the state of the last unpaired nucleon (1d
5/2
) :
J
p
=
5
2
+
.
If the nucleus is deformed, not only are energy levels like 1p
3/2
, 1d
5/2
,
1d
3/2
split, the levels become more crowded and the order changes. Strictly
speaking, the energy levels of
27
Al are ﬁlled up in the order of singleparticle
energy levels of a deformed nucleus. In addition, there is also collective
motion, which makes the energy levels very complicated. Comparing the
energy levels with theory, we have, corresponding to the levels of a spherical
nucleus of the same J
p
, the levels,
ground state : J
p
=
5
2
+
, E = 0 ,
excited states : J
p
=
1
2
+
, E = 2.463 MeV,
J
p
=
3
2
+
, E = 4.156 MeV;
corresponding to the singleparticle energy levels of a deformed nucleus the
levels
ground state : K
p
=
5
2
+
, E = 0 ,
excited states : K
p
=
1
2
+
, E = 0.452 MeV,
K
p
=
1
2
+
, E = 2.463 MeV,
K
p
=
1
2
−
, E = 3.623 MeV,
K
p
=
3
2
+
, E = 4.196 MeV,
Also, every K
p
corresponds to a collectiverotation energy band of the
nucleus given by
Nuclear Physics 321
E
J
=
2
2I
[J(J + 1) −K(K + 1)] ,
where K =1/2, J = K, K + 1, . . . .
E
J
=
2
2I
¸
J(J + 1) −
3
4
+a −a(−1)
J+1/2
J +
1
2
,
where K =1/2, J = K, K + 1, . . . .
For example, for rotational bands
5
2
+
(0),
7
2
+
(1.613),
9
2
+
(3.425), we
have K =
5
2
,
2
2I
[(K + 1)(K + 2) −K(K + 1)] = 1.613 MeV,
2
2I
[(K + 2)(K + 3) −K(K + 1)] = 3.425 MeV.
giving
2
2I
≈ 0.222 MeV. For rotational bands
1
2
+
(0.452),
3
2
+
(0.944),
5
2
+
(1.790),
7
2
+
(2.719),
9
2
+
(4.027), we have
2
2I
≈ 0.150 MeV, a ≈ −3.175 10
2
.
Similarly for
1
2
−
(3.623),
7
2
−
(3.497) and
3
2
−
(3.042) we have
2
2I
≈ 0.278 MeV, a ≈ 5.092 .
2074
A recent model for collective nuclear states treats them in terms of
interacting bosons. For a series of states that can be described as symmetric
superposition of S and D bosons (i.e. of spins 0 and 2 respectively), what
are the spins of the states having N
d
= 0, 1, 2 and 3 bosons? If the energy
of the S bosons is E
s
and the energy of the D bosons is E
d
, and there is
a residual interaction between pairs of D bosons of constant strength α,
what is the spectrum of the states with N
s
+N
d
= 3 bosons?
(Princeton)
322 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
When N
d
= 0, spin is 0,
N
d
= 1, spin is 2,
N
d
= 2, spin is 4,2,0,
N
d
= 3, spin is 6, 4, 2, 0.
For states of N
s
+N
d
= 3, when
N
d
= 0 : N
s
= 3, E = 3E
s
,
N
d
= 1 : N
s
= 2, E = E
d
+ 2E
s
,
N
d
= 2 : N
s
= 1, E = 2E
d
+E
s
+α,
N
d
= 3 : N
s
= 0, E = 3E
d
+ 3α.
2075
A simpliﬁed model of the complex nuclear interaction is the pairing
force, speciﬁed by a Hamiltonian of the form
H = −g
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
1 1 1
1 1 1
1 1 1
¸
,
in the twoidenticalparticle space for a single j orbit, with the basic states
given by (−1)
j−m
[jm`[j − m`. This interaction has a single outstanding
eigenstate. What is its spin? What is its energy? What are the spins and
energies of the rest of the twoparticle states?
(Princeton)
Solution:
Suppose H is a (j +
1
2
) (j +
1
2
) matrix. The eigenstate can be written
in the form
Nuclear Physics 323
Ψ
N=2
=
j +
1
2
−1/2
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
¸
1
1
:
1
1
¸
,
where the column matrix has rank (j +
1
2
) 1. Then
ˆ
HΨ
N=2
= −g
j +
1
2
Ψ
N=2
.
Thus the energy eigenvalue of Ψ
N=2
is −g
j +
1
2
. As the pairing force
acts on states of J = 0 only, the spin is zero.
As the sum of the energy eigenvalues equals the trace of the
ˆ
H matrix,
−g
j +
1
2
, and H is a negative quantity, all the eigenstates orthogonal to
Ψ
N=2
have energy eigenvalues zero, the corresponding angular momenta
being J = 2, 4, 6 . . . , etc.
5. NUCLEAR DECAYS (2076 2107)
2076
In its original (1911) form the Geiger–Nuttall law expresses the gen
eral relationship between αparticle range (R
α
) and decay constant (λ) in
natural αradioactivity as a linear relation between log λ and log R. Sub
sequently this was modiﬁed to an approximate linear relationship between
log λ and some power of the αparticle energy, E
x
(α).
Explain how this relationship between decay constant and energy is ex
plained quantummechanically. Show also how the known general features
of the atomic nucleus make it possible to explain the extremely rapid de
pendence of λ on E(α). (For example, from E(α) = 5.3 MeV for Po
210
to
E(α) = 7.7 MeV for Po
214
, λ increases by a factor of some 10
10
, from a
halflife of about 140 days to one of 1.6 10
−4
sec.)
(Columbia)
Solution:
αdecay can be considered as the transmission of an αparticle through
the potential barrier of the daughter nucleus. Similar to that shown in
324 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.7, where R is the nuclear radius, r
1
is the point where the Coulomb
repulsive potential V (r) = Zze
2
/r equals the αparticle energy E. Using
a threedimensional potential and neglecting angular momentum, we can
obtain the transmission coeﬃcient T by the W.K.B. method:
T = e
−2G
,
where
G =
1
r
1
R
(2m[E −V [)
1/2
dr ,
with V = zZe
2
/r, E = zZe
2
/r
1
, z = 2, Ze being the charge of the daughter
nucleus. Integration gives
G =
1
(2mzZe
2
r
1
)
1/2
¸
arccos
R
r
1
−
R
r
1
−
R
2
r
2
1
1/2
¸
R
r
1
→0
→
1
(2mzZe
2
r
1
)
1/2
¸
π
2
−
R
r
1
1/2
¸
.
Suppose the αparticle has velocity v
0
in the potential well. Then it collides
with the walls
v
0
R
times per unit time and the probability of decay per unit
time is λ = v
0
T/R. Hence
lnλ = −
√
2mBRπ
E
−
1
2
−
2
π
B
−
1
2
+ ln
v
0
R
,
where B = zZe
2
/R. This is a linear relationship between log λ and E
−1/2
for αemitters of the same radioactive series.
For
84
Po,
log
10
T(
210
Po)
T(
214
Po)
=0.434[lnλ(
214
Po) −lnλ(
210
Po)]
=0.434
√
2mc
2
zZ
e
2
c
1
√
E
210
−
1
√
E
214
=
0.434
√
8 940 2 (84 −2)
137
1
√
5 3
−
1
√
7 7
≈10.
Thus the lifetimes diﬀer by 10 orders of magnitude.
Nuclear Physics 325
2077
The halflife of a radioactive isotope is strongly dependent on the energy
liberated in the decay. The energy dependence of the halflife, however,
follows quite diﬀerent laws for α and βemitters.
(a) Derive the speciﬁc law for αemitters.
(b) Indicate why the law for βemitters is diﬀerent by discussing in detail
the diﬀerence between the two processes.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) For a quantummechanical derivation of the Geiger–Nuttall law for
αdecays see Problem 2076.
(b) Whereas αdecay may be considered as the transmission of an α
particle through a Coulomb potential barrier to exit the daughter nucleus,
βdecay is the result of the disintegration of a neutron in the nucleus into
a proton, which remains in the nucleus, an electron and an antineutrino,
which are emitted. Fermi has obtained the βparticle spectrum using a
method similar to that for γemission. Basically the transition probability
per unit time is given by Fermi’s golden rule No. 2,
ω =
2π
[H
fi
[
2
ρ(E) ,
where E is the decay energy, H
fi
is the transition matrix element and
ρ(E) =
dN
dE
is the number of ﬁnal states per unit energy interval.
For decay energy E, the number of states of the electron in the momen
tum interval p
e
and p
e
+dp
e
is
dN
e
=
V 4πp
2
e
dp
e
(2π)
3
,
where V is the volume of normalization. Similarly for the antineutrino we
have
dN
ν
=
4πp
2
ν
dp
ν
(2π)
3
,
and so dN = dN
e
dN
ν
. However p
e
and p
ν
are not independent. They are
related through E
e
=
p
2
e
c
2
+m
2
e
c
4
, E
ν
= p
ν
c by E = E
e
+ E
ν
. We can
write p
ν
=
E−E
e
c
, and for a given E
e
, dp
ν
=
dE
ν
c
=
dE
c
. Thus
dN
dE
=
dN
e
dN
ν
dE
=
V
2
4π
4
6
c
3
p
max
0
(E −E
e
)
2
p
2
e
dp
e
,
326 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where p
max
corresponds to the endpoint energy of the βparticle spectrum
E
0
≈ E, and hence
λ =
2π
[H
fi
[
2
dN
dE
=
g
2
[M
fi
[
2
2π
3
7
c
3
p
max
0
(E −
p
2
e
c
2
+m
2
e
c
4
)
2
p
2
e
dp
e
,
where M
fi
=
V H
fi
g
and g is the coupling constant.
In terms of the kinetic energy T, as
E
e
= T +m
e
c
2
=
p
2
e
c
2
+m
2
e
c
4
, E = T
0
+m
e
c
2
,
the above integral can be written in the form
T
0
0
(T +m
e
c
2
)(T
2
+ 2m
e
c
2
T)
1
2
(T
0
−T)
2
dT .
This shows that for βdecays
λ ∼ T
5
0
,
which is the basis of the Sargent curve.
This relation is quite diﬀerent from that for αdecays,
λ ∼ exp
−
c
√
E
,
where E is the decay energy and C is a constant.
2078
Natural gold
197
79
Au is radioactive since it is unstable against αdecay
with an energy of 3.3 MeV. Estimate the lifetime of
197
79
Au to explain why
gold does not burn a hole in your pocket.
(Princeton)
Solution:
The Geiger–Nuttall law
log
10
λ = C −DE
−1/2
α
,
Nuclear Physics 327
where C, D are constants depending on Z, which can be calculated using
quantum theory, E
α
is the αparticle energy, can be used to estimate the
lifetime of
197
Au. For a rough estimate, use the values of C, D for Pb,
C ≈ 52, D ≈ 140 (MeV)
1
2
. Thus
λ ≈ 10
(52−140E
−1/2
)
≈ 10
−25
s
−1
and so
T
1/2
=
1
λ
ln2 ≈ 6.9 10
24
s ≈ 2.2 10
17
yr .
Thus the number of decays in a human’s lifetime is too small to worry
about.
2079
The halflife of
239
Pu has been determined by immersing a sphere of
239
Pu of mass 120.1 gm in liquid nitrogen of a volume enough to stop
all αparticles and measuring the rate of evaporation of the liquid. The
evaporation rate corresponded to a power of 0.231 W. Calculate, to the
nearest hundred years, the halflife of
239
Pu, given that the energy of its
decay alphaparticles is 5.144 MeV. (Take into account the recoil energy of
the product nucleus.) Given conversion factors:
1 MeV = 1.60206 10
−13
joule ,
1 atomic mass unit = 1.66 10
−24
gm.
(SUNY, Buﬀalo)
Solution:
The decay takes place according to
239
Pu →α +
235
U.
The recoil energy of
235
U is
E
u
=
p
2
u
2M
u
=
p
2
α
2M
u
=
2M
α
E
α
2M
u
=
4
235
E
α
.
The energy released per αdecay is
E = E
u
+E
α
=
239
235
E
α
= 5.232 MeV.
328 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
The decay rate is
dN
dt
=
0.231
5.232 1.60206 10
−13
= 2.756 10
11
s
−1
.
The number of
239
Pu is
N =
120.1 5.61 10
26
239 939
= 3.002 10
23
.
The halflife is
T
1/2
=
ln2
λ
=
N ln 2
dN
dt
=
3.002 10
23
ln2
2.756 10
11
= 7.5510
11
s = 2.3910
4
yr .
2080
8
Li is an example of a βdelayed particle emitter. The
8
Li ground state
has a halflife of 0.85 s and decays to the 2.9 MeV level in Be as shown
in Fig. 2.24. The 2.9 MeV level then decays into 2 alphaparticles with a
halflife of 10
−22
s.
Fig. 2.24
(a) What is the parity of the 2.9 MeV level in
8
Be? Give your reasoning.
(b) Why is the halflife of the
8
Be 2.9 MeV level so much smaller than
the half life of the
8
Li ground state?
(c) Where in energy, with respect to the
8
Be ground state, would you
expect the threshold for
7
Li neutron capture? Why?
(Wisconsin)
Nuclear Physics 329
Solution:
(a) The spinparity of αparticle is J
p
= 0
+
. In
8
Be → α + α, as
the decay ﬁnal state is that of two identical bosons, the wave function is
required to be exchangesymmetric. This means that the relative orbital
quantum number l of the αparticles is even, and so the parity of the ﬁnal
state of the two αparticle system is
π
f
= (+1)
2
(−1)
l
= +1 .
As the αdecay is a stronginteraction process, (extremely short halflife),
parity is conserved. Hence the parity of the 2.9 MeV excited state of
8
Be
is positive.
(b) The βdecay of the
8
Li ground state is a weakinteraction process.
However, the αdecay of the 2.9 MeV excited state of
8
Be is a strong
interaction process with a low Coulomb barrier. The diﬀerence in the two
interaction intensities leads to the vast diﬀerence in the lifetimes.
(c) The threshold energy for
7
Li neutron capture is higher than the
8
Be
ground state by
M(
7
Li) +m(n) −M(
8
Be) =M(
7
Li) +m(n) −M(
8
Li)
+M(
8
Li) −M(
8
Be) = S
n
(
8
Li) + 16 MeV.
where S
n
(
8
Li) is the energy of dissociation of
8
Li into
7
Li and a neutron. As
S
n
(
8
Li) =M(
7
Li) +M
n
(n) −M(
8
Li) = 7.018223 + 1.00892 −8.025018
=0.002187 amu = 2.0 MeV,
the threshold of neutron capture by
7
Li is about 18 MeV higher than the
ground state of
8
Be. Note that as
8
Li is outside the stability curve against
βdecay, the energy required for removal of a neutron from it in rather small.
2081
The following atomic masses have been determined (in amu):
(1)
7
3
Li 7.0182
7
4
Be 7.0192
330 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(2)
13
6
C 13.0076
13
7
N 13.0100
(3)
19
9
F 19.0045
19
10
Ne 19.0080
(4)
34
15
P 33.9983
34
16
S 33.9978
(5)
35
16
S 34.9791
35
17
Cl 34.9789
Remembering that the mass of the electron is 0.00055 amu, indicate
which nuclide of each pair is unstable, its mode(s) of decay, and the ap
proximate energy released in the disintegration. Derive the conditions for
stability which you used.
(Columbia)
Solution:
As for each pair of isobars the atomic numbers diﬀer by one, only β
decay or orbital electron capture is possible between them.
Consider βdecay. Let M
x
, M
y
, m
e
represent the masses of the original
nucleus, the daughter nucleus, and the electron respectively. Then the
energy release in the βdecay is E
d
(β
−
) = [M
x
(Z, A)−M
y
(Z+1, A)−m
e
]c
2
.
Expressing this relation in amu and neglecting the variation of the binding
energy of the electrons in diﬀerent atoms and shells, we have
E
d
(β
−
) =[M
x
(Z, A) −Zm
e
−M
y
(Z + 1, A) + (Z + 1)m
e
−m
e
]c
2
=[M
x
(Z, A) −M
y
(Z + 1, A)]c
2
,
where M indicates atomic mass. Thus βdecay can take place only if M
x
>
M
y
. Similarly for β
+
decay, we have
E
d
(β
+
) = [M
x
(Z, A) −M
y
(Z −1, A) −2m
e
]c
2
,
and so β
+
decay can take place only if M
x
− M
y
> 2m
e
= 0.0011 amu.
In the same way we have for orbital electron capture (usually from the K
shell)
E
d
(i) = [M
x
(Z, A) −M
y
(Z −1, A)]c
2
−W
i
.
where W
i
is the binding energy of an electron in the ith shell, ∼ 10 eV or
1.1 10
−8
amu for Kshell, and so we require M
x
−M
y
> W
i
/c
2
Nuclear Physics 331
Let ∆ = M(Z + 1, A) −M(Z, A).
Pair (1), ∆ = 0.001 amu < 0.0011 amu,
7
4
Be is unstable against K
electron capture.
Pair (2), ∆ = 0.0024 amu > 0.0011 amu,
13
7
N is unstable against βdecay
and Kelectron capture.
Pair (3), ∆ = 0.0035 amu > 0.0011 amu,
19
10
Ne is unstable against β
+

decay and Kelectron capture.
Pair (4), ∆ = −0.0005 amu,
34
15
P is unstable against β
−
decay.
Pair (5), ∆ = −0.0002 amu,
35
16
S is unstable against β
−
decay.
2082
34
Cl positrondecays to
34
S. Plot a spectrum of the number of positrons
emitted with momentum p as a function of p. If the diﬀerence in the masses
of the neutral atoms of
34
Cl and
34
S is 5.52 MeV/c
2
, what is the maximum
positron energy?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
34
Cl decays according to
34
Cl →
34
S +e
+
+ν .
The process is similar to β
−
decay and the same theory applies. The num
ber of decays per unit time that emit a positron of momentum between p
and p +dp is (Problem 2077(b))
I(p)dp =
g
2
[M
fi
[
2
2π
3
7
c
3
(E
m
−E)
2
p
2
dp ,
where E
m
is the endpoint (total) energy of the β
+
spectrum. Thus I(p)
is proportional to (E
m
− E)
2
p
2
, as shown in Fig. 2.25. The maximum
β
+
particle energy is
E
max β
+ =[M(
34
Cl) −M(
34
S) −2m
e
]c
2
= 5.52 MeV−1.022 MeV
=4.50 MeV.
332 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.25
2083
Both
161
Ho and
163
Ho decay by allowed electron capture to Dy isotopes,
but the Q
EC
values are about 850 keV and about 2.5 keV respectively.
(Q
EC
is the mass diﬀerence between the ﬁnal ground state of nucleus plus
atomic electrons and the initial ground state of nucleus plus atomic elec
trons.) The Dy orbital electron binding energies are listed in the table
bellow. The capture rate for 3p
1/2
electrons in
161
Ho is about 5% of the
3s capture rate. Calculate the 3p
1/2
to 3s relative capture rate in
161
Ho.
How much do the 3p
1/2
and 3s capture rates change for both
161
Ho and
163
Ho if the Q
EC
values remain the same, but the neutrino, instead of being
massless, is assumed to have a mass of 50 eV?
Orbital Binding Energy (keV)
1s 54
2s 9
2p
1/2
8.6
3s 2.0
3p
1/2
1.8
(Princeton)
Solution:
As
161
Ho and
163
Ho have the same nuclear charge Z, their orbital
electron wave functions are the same, their 3s and 3p
1/2
waves diﬀering
Nuclear Physics 333
only in phase. So the transition matrix elements for electron capture are
also the same.
The decay constant is given by
λ ≈ A[M
if
[
2
ρ(E) ,
where M
if
is the transition matrix element, ρ(E) is the density of states,
and A is a constant. For electron capture, the nucleus emits only a neutrino,
and so the process is a twobody one. We have
ρ(E) ∝ E
2
ν
≈ (Q
EC
−B)
2
,
where B is the binding energy of an electron in s or p state. As
λ(3p
1/2
)
λ(3s)
=
[M(3p
1/2
)[
2
(Q
EC
−B
p
)
2
[M(3s)[
2
(Q
EC
−B
s
)
2
= 0.05,
[M(3p
1/2
)
2
[M(3s)[
2
= 0.05
850 −2.0
850 −1.8
2
= 0.04998 .
Hence for
163
Ho,
λ(3p
1/2
)
λ(3s)
=
[M(3p
1/2
)[
2
(Q
EC
−B
p
)
2
[M(3s)[
2
(Q
EC
−B
s
)
2
= 0.04998
2.5 −1.8
2.5 −2.0
2
≈ 9.8%.
If m
ν
= 50 eV, then, as E
2
ν
= p
2
ν
+ m
2
ν
, the phasespace factor in P(E)
changes:
p
2
ν
dp
ν
dE
ν
= (E
2
ν
−m
2
ν
)
E
ν
p
ν
= E
ν
E
2
ν
−m
2
ν
≈ E
2
ν
1 −
m
2
ν
2E
2
ν
.
Hence the decay constant for every channel for
161
Ho and
163
Ho changes
from λ
0
to λ:
λ ≈ λ
0
1 −
1
2
m
2
ν
E
2
ν
,
or
λ
0
−λ
λ
0
≈
1
2
m
2
ν
E
2
ν
.
334 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Thus for
161
Ho, 3s state:
λ
0
−λ
λ
0
=
1
2
50
2
848
2
10
6
= 1.74 10
−9
,
3p
1/2
state:
λ
0
−λ
λ
0
=
1
2
50
2
848.2
2
10
6
= 1.74 10
−9
;
for
163
Ho, 3s state:
λ
0
−λ
λ
0
=
1
2
50
2
0.5 10
6
= 5 10
−3
,
3p
1/2
state:
λ
0
−λ
λ
0
=
1
2
50
2
0.7
2
10
6
= 2.25 10
−3
.
2084
An element of low atomic number Z can undergo allowed positron β
decay. Let p
0
be the maximum possible momentum of the positron, suppos
ing p
0
< mc (m =positron mass); and let Γ
β
be the betadecay rate. An
alternative process is Kcapture, the nucleus capturing a Kshell electron
and undergoing the same nuclear transition with emission of a neutrino.
Let Γ
K
be the decay rate for this process. Compute the ratio Γ
K
/Γ
β
. You
can treat the wave function of the Kshell electron as hydrogenic, and can
ignore the electron binding energy.
(Princeton)
Solution:
The quantum perturbation theory gives the probability of a β
+
decay
per unit time with decay energy E as
ω =
2π
ψ
∗
f
Hψ
i
dτ
2
dn
dE
,
where ψ
i
is the initial wave function, ψ
f
is the ﬁnal wave function and
dn
dE
is the number of ﬁnal states per unit interval of E. As the ﬁnal state has
Nuclear Physics 335
three particles (nucleus, β
+
and ν), ψ
f
= u
f
φ
β
φ
ν
(assuming no interaction
among the ﬁnal particles or, if there is, the interaction is very weak), where
u
f
is the wave function of the ﬁnal nucleus, φ
β
, φ
ν
are respectively the wave
functions of the positron and neutrino.
In Fermi’s theory of βdecay, H is taken to be a constant. Let it be
g. Furthermore, the β
+
particle and neutrino are considered free particles
and represented by plane waves:
φ
∗
β
=
1
√
V
e
−ik
β
·r
, φ
∗
ν
=
1
√
V
e
−ik
ν
·r
,
where V is the volume of normalization, k
β
and k
ν
are respectively the
wave vectors of the β
+
particle and neutrino. Let
ψ
i
u
∗
f
e
−i(k
β
+k
ν
)·r
dτ = M
fi
.
The ﬁnal state is a threeparticle state, and so dn is the product of the
numbers of state of the ﬁnal nucleus, the β
+
particle and neutrino. For
β
+
decay, the number of states of the ﬁnal nucleus is 1, while the number
of states of β
+
particle with momentum between p and p +dp is
dn
β
=
4πp
2
dp
(2π)
3
V ,
and that of the neutrino is
dn
ν
=
4πp
2
ν
dp
ν
(2π)
3
V .
Hence
dn
dE
=
dn
β
dn
ν
dE
=
p
2
p
2
ν
dpdp
ν
4π
4
6
dE
V
2
.
The sum of the β
+
particle and neutrino energies equals the decay en
ergy E (neglecting nuclear recoil):
E
e
+E
ν
≈ E,
and so for a given positron energy E
e
, dE
ν
= dE. Then as the rest mass
of neutrino is zero or very small, E
ν
= cp
ν
, and
p
ν
= (E −E
e
)/c, dp
ν
=
dE
c
.
336 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Therefore
dn
dE
=
(E −E
e
)
2
p
2
dp
4π
4
6
c
3
V
2
.
On writing
ω =
I(p)dp ,
the above gives
I(p)dp =
g
2
[M
fi
[
2
2π
3
7
c
3
(E −E
e
)
2
p
2
dp .
The β
+
decay rate Γ
β
is
Γ
β
=
p
0
0
I(p)dp = B
p
0
0
(E −E
e
)
2
p
2
dp
where
B =
g
2
[M
fi
[
2
2π
3
7
c
3
and p
0
is the maximum momentum of the positron, corresponding to a
maximum kinetic energy E
0
≈ E. As E
0
< m
e
c
2
, and so E
0
=
p
2
0
2m
e
,
E
e
≈
p
2
2m
e
, we have
Γ
β
= B
p
0
0
1
(2m
e
)
2
(p
4
0
+p
4
−2p
2
0
p
2
)p
2
dp
=
Bp
7
0
4m
2
e
1
3
+
1
7
−
2
5
≈ 1.9 10
−2
Bp
7
0
m
2
e
.
In Kcapture, the ﬁnal state is a twobody system, and so monoenergetic
neutrinos are emitted. Consider
Γ
K
=
2π
ψ
∗
f
Hψ
i
dτ
2
dn
dE
.
The ﬁnal state wave function ψ
∗
f
is the product of the daughter nucleus
wave function u
∗
f
and the neutrino wave function φ
∗
ν
. The neutrino can be
considered a free particle and its wave a plane wave
φ
∗
ν
=
1
√
V
e
−ik
ν
·r
.
Nuclear Physics 337
The initial wave function can be taken to be approximately the product of
the wave functions of the parent nucleus and Kshell electron:
φ
K
=
1
√
π
Zm
e
e
2
2
3/2
e
−Zm
e
e
2
r/
2
.
Then as
ψ
∗
f
Hψ
i
dτ
=
g
√
V π
Zm
e
e
2
2
3
2
u
∗
f
u
i
e
−ik
ν
·r
e
−
Zm
e
e
2
2
r
dτ
≈
g
√
V π
Zm
e
e
2
2
3/2
[M
fi
[,
dn
dE
=
4πV p
2
ν
dp
ν
(2π)
3
dE
=
4πV
(2π)
3
E
2
ν
c
3
,
taking E
ν
≈ E and neglecting nuclear recoil, we have
Γ
K
=
m
3
e
g
2
[M
fi
[
2
π
2
7
e
3
Ze
2
3
E
2
ν
= 2πm
3
e
B
Ze
2
3
E
2
ν
.
Ignoring the electron binding energy, we can take E
ν
≈ E
0
+ 2m
e
c
2
≈
2m
e
c
2
, and hence
Γ
K
Γ
β
=
8πZ
3
1.9 10
−2
e
2
c
3
m
e
c
p
0
7
= 5.1 10
−4
Z
3
m
e
c
p
0
7
.
Thus
Γ
k
Γ
β
∝
1
p
7
0
. It increases rapidly with decreasing p
0
.
2085
Tritium, the isotope
3
H, undergoes betadecay with a halflife of 12.5
years. An enriched sample of hydrogen gas containing 0.1 gram of tritium
produces 21 calories of heat per hour.
(a) For these data calculate the average energy of the βparticles emit
ted.
(b) What speciﬁc measurements on the beta spectrum (including the
decay nucleus) indicate that there is an additional decay product and specif
ically that it is light and neutral.
338 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(c) Give a critical, quantitative analysis of how a careful measurement
of the beta spectrum of tritium can be used to determine (or put an upper
limit on) the mass of the electron’s neutrino.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The decay constant is
λ =
ln2
T1
2
=
ln2
12.5 365 24
= 6.33 10
−6
hr
−1
.
Hence
−
dN
dt
= λN =
0.1 6.023 10
23
3
6.33 10
−6
= 1.27 10
17
decay per hour and the average energy of the βparticles is
¯
E =
21 4.18
1.27 10
17
= 6.91 10
−16
J = 4.3 keV.
(b) Both α and βdecays represent transitions between two states of
deﬁnite energies. However, the former is a twobody decay (daughter nu
cleus +αparticle) and the conservation laws of energy and momentum
require the αparticles to be emitted monoenergetic, whereas βtransition
is a threebody decay (daughter nucleus + electron or position + neutrino)
and so the electrons emitted have a continuous energy distribution with
a deﬁnite maximum approximately equal to the transition energy. Thus
the αspectrum consists of a vertical line (or peak) while the βspectrum
is continuous from zero to a deﬁnite endpoint energy. Thus a measure
ment of the β spectrum indicates the emission of a third, neutral particle.
Conservation of energy indicates that it is very light.
(c) Pauli suggested that βdecay takes place according to
A
Z
X →
A
Z+1
Y +β
−
+ ¯ ν
e
.
As shown in Fig. 2.25, β
−
has a continuous energy spectrum with a maxi
mum energy E
m
. When the kinetic energy of ¯ ν
e
trends to zero, the energy
of β
−
trends to E
m
. Energy conservation requires
M(
A
Z
X) = M(
A
Z+1
Y ) +
E
m
c
2
+m
ν
,
Nuclear Physics 339
or, for the process under consideration,
m
ν
= M(
3
1
H) −M(
3
2
He) −E
m
/c
2
.
If E
m
is precisely measured, the neutrino mass can be calculated. It has
been found to be so small that only an upper limit can be given.
2086
(a) Describe brieﬂy the energy spectra of alpha and betaparticles emit
ted by radioactive nuclei. Emphasize the diﬀerences and qualitatively ex
plain the reasons for them.
(b) Draw a schematic diagram of an instrument which can measure
one of these spectra. Give numerical estimates of essential parameters and
explain how they are chosen.
(UC, Berkeley)
Fig. 2.26
Solution:
(a) αparticles from a radioactive nuclide are monoenergetic; the spec
trum consists of vertical lines. βparticles have a continuous energy spec
trum with a deﬁnite endpoint energy. This is because emission of a β
particle is accompanied by a neutrino which takes away some decay energy.
(b) Figure 2.26 is a schematic sketch of a semiconductor αspectrometer.
The energy of an αparticle emitted in αdecay is several MeV in most
cases, so a thinwindow, goldsilicon surfacebarrier semiconductor detec
tor is used which has an energy resolution of about 1 percent at room
temperature. As the αparticle energy is rather low, a thick, sensitive layer
340 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
is not needed and a bias voltage from several tens to 100 V is suﬃcient.
For good measurements the multichannel analyzer should have more than
1024 channels, using about 10 channels for the full width at half maximum
of a peak.
2087
The two lowest states of scandium42,
42
21
Sc
21
, are known to have spins
0
+
and 7
+
. They respectively undergo positrondecay to the ﬁrst 0
+
and 6
+
states of calcium42,
42
20
Ca
22
, with the positron reduced halflives (ft)
0
+ =
3.2 10
3
seconds, (ft)
7
+ = 1.6 10
4
seconds. No positron decay has been
detected to the 0
+
state at 1.84 MeV. (See Fig. 2.27.)
Fig. 2.27
(a) The two states of
42
Sc can be simply accounted for by assuming two
valence nucleons with the conﬁguration (f
7/2
)
2
. Determine which of the
indicated states of
42
Ca are compatible with this conﬁguration. Brieﬂy out
line your reasoning. Assuming charge independence, assign isospin quan
tum numbers [T, T
Z
` for all (f
7/2
)
2
states. Classify the nature of the two
betatransitions and explain your reasoning.
(b) With suitable wave functions for the [J, M
J
` = [7, 7` state of
scandium42 and the [6, 6` state of calcium42, calculate the ratio (ft)
7
+/
(ft)
0
+ expected for the two positrondecays.
For j = l +
1
2
:
ˆ
S
−
[j, j` =
1
(2j)
1/2
[j, j −1` +
2j −1
2j
1/2
[j −1, j −1` ,
Nuclear Physics 341
ˆ
S
z
[j, j` =
1
2
[j, j` ,
G
v
= 1.4 10
−49
ergcm
3
,
G
A
= 1.6 10
−49
ergcm
3
.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) For
42
S, T
z
=
1
2
(Z − N) = 0. As the angular momenta of the two
nucleons are 7/2 each and the isospins are 1/2 each, vector addition gives
for the nuclear spin an integer from 0 to 7, and for the nuclear isospin
0 or 1. The generalized Pauli’s principle requires the total wave function
to be antisymmetric, and so J + T = odd. Hence the states compatible
with the conﬁguration (f
7/2
)
2
are J = 0
+
, 2
+
, 4
+
, 6
+
when T = 1, and
J = 1
+
, 3
+
, 5
+
, 7
+
when T = 0.
The transition 7
+
→6
+
is a Gamow–Teller transition as for such tran
sitions ∆J = 0 or 1 (J
i
= 0 to J
f
= 0 is forbidden), ∆T = 0 or 1, π
i
= π
f
.
The transition 0
+
→ 0
+
is a Fermi transition as for such transitions
∆J = 0, ∆T = 0, π
i
= π
f
.
(b) The probability per unit time of βtransition is Γ(β) ∝ G
2
v
'M
F
`
2
+
G
2
A
'M
GT
`
2
, where 'M
F
`
2
and 'M
GT
`
2
are the squares of the spinaveraged
weak interaction matrix elements:
'M
F
`
2
=
1
2J
i
+ 1
¸
M
i
,M
f
'J
f
M
f
T
f
T
fz
[1
A
¸
k=1
t
±
(k)[J
i
M
i
T
i
T
iz
`
2
= 'J
f
MT
f
T
fz
[1
A
¸
k=1
t
±
(k)[J
i
MT
i
T
iz
`
2
,
'M
GT
`
2
=
1
2J
i
+ 1
¸
m,M
i
,M
f
['J
f
M
f
T
f
T
fz
[
A
¸
k=1
σ
m
(k)t
±
(k)[J
i
M
i
T
i
T
iz
`[
2
,
where m takes the values +1, 0, −1, for which
σ
+1
= σ
x
+iσ
y
, σ
0
= σ
z
, σ
−1
= σ
x
−iσ
y
.
Then the halflife is
ft =
K
G
2
v
'M
F
`
2
+G
2
A
'M
GT
`
2
,
342 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where K = 2π
3
7
ln2/m
5
c
4
, a constant. Hence
ft(7
+
→6
+
)
ft(0
+
→0
+
)
=
G
2
v
'M
F
`
2
0
+
G
2
A
'M
GT
`
2
7
+
.
Consider
'M
F
` ='JMTT
fz
[1
A
¸
k=1
t
±
(k)[JMTT
iz
` = 'JMTT
fz
[T
±
[JMTT
iz
`
=
T(T + 1) −T
iz
T
fz
,
replacing the sum of the z components of the isospins of the nucleons by
the zcomponent of the total isospin. Taking T = 1, T
iz
= 0, we have
'M
F
`
2
= 2 .
Consider
'M
GT
`
2
=
¸
m
['6, 6, 1, −1[¦σ
m
(1)t
±
(1) +σ
m
(2)t
±
(2)¦[7, 7, 1, 0`[
2
,
where only the two nucleons outside full shells, which are identical, are
taken into account. Then
'M
GT
`
2
= 4
¸
m
['6, 6, 1, −1[σ
m
(1)t
±
(1)[7, 7, 1, 0`[
2
.
Writing the wave functions as combinations of nucleon wave functions:
[7, 7` =
7
2
,
7
2
;
7
2
,
7
2
,
[7, 6` =
1
√
2
7
2
,
6
2
;
7
2
,
7
2
+
7
2
,
7
2
;
7
2
,
6
2
,
[6, 6` =
1
√
2
7
2
,
6
2
;
7
2
,
7
2
−
7
2
,
7
2
;
7
2
,
6
2
,
we have
'M
GT
`
2
= 4
7
2
,
6
2
;
7
2
,
7
2
, ; 1, −1
σ
−
(1)t
±
(1)
2
7
2
,
7
2
;
7
2
,
7
2
; 1, 0
2
= 2 .
Nuclear Physics 343
Thus
(ft)
7
+
(ft)
0
+
=
G
2
v
G
2
A
≈
1.4
1.6
2
≈ 0.77 .
2088
The stillundetected isotope copper57 (
57
29
Cu
28
) is expected to decay by
positron emission to nickel57 (
57
28
Ni
29
).
(a) Suggest shellmodel spinparity assignments for the ground and ﬁrst
excited states of these nuclei.
(b) Estimate the positron endpoint energy for decay from the ground
state of copper57 to the ground state of nickel57. Estimate the halflife
for this decay (order of magnitude).
(c) Discuss what one means by Fermi and by Gamow–Teller contri
butions to allowed βdecays, and indicate the corresponding spinparity
selection rules. For the above decay process, estimate the ratio Γ
F
/Γ
GT
of
the two contributions to the decay rate. Does one expect appreciable β
+

decay from the copper57 ground state to the ﬁrst excited state of nickel57?
Explain.
(d) Nickel58 occurs naturally. Brieﬂy sketch an experimental arrange
ment for study of copper57 positrondecay.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a)
57
Cu and
57
Ni are mirror nuclei with the same energylevel structure
of a single nucleon outside of doublefull shells. The valence nucleon is
proton for
57
Cu and neutron for
57
Ni, the two nuclei having the same
features of ground and ﬁrst excited states.
For the ground state, the last nucleon is in state 2p
3/2
(Fig. 2.11), and
so J
π
= (
3
2
)
−
; for the ﬁrst excited state, the nucleon is in state 1f
5/2
, and
so J
π
= (
5
2
)
−
(E
1
= 0.76 MeV).
(b) As
57
Cu and
57
Ni are mirror nuclei, their mass diﬀerence is (Prob
lem 2067(c))
∆E = M(Z + 1, A)c
2
−M(Z, A)c
2
=
3e
2
5R
[(Z + 1)
2
−Z
2
] −(m
n
−M
H
)c
2
344 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
=
3c
5R
e
2
c
(2Z + 1) −(m
n
−M
H
)c
2
=
3 197 (2 28 + 1)
5 1.2 57
1/3
137
−0.78
= 9.87 MeV.
Thus the ground state of
57
Cu is 9.87 MeV higher than that of
57
Ni. The
positron endpoint energy for decay from the ground state of
57
Cu to that
of
57
Ni is
E
0
= ∆E −2m
e
c
2
≈ 9.87 −1.02 ≈ 8.85 MeV.
As the β
+
decay is from (
3
2
)
−
to (
3
2
)
−
, ∆J = 0, ∆π = +, ∆T = 0,
∆T
z
= −1, the decay is of a superallowed type. To simplify calculation
take F(Z, E) = 1. Then (Problem 2084)
λ
β
≈
p
0
0
I(p)dp ≈ B
E
0
0
(E
0
−E)
2
E
2
dE
= BE
5
0
1
3
+
1
5
−
1
2
=
1
30
BE
5
0
,
where
B =
g
2
[M
fi
[
2
2π
3
c
6
7
= 3.36 10
−3
MeV
−5
s
−1
,
with [M
fi
[
2
≈ 1, g = 8.95 10
−44
MeV cm
3
(experimental value). Hence
τ
1/2
= ln2/λ =
30 ln2
BE
5
0
= 0.114 s .
(c) In β
+
decay between mirror nuclei ground states
3
−
2
→
3
−
2
, as the
nuclear structures of the initial and ﬁnal states are similar, the transition
is of a superallowed type. Such transitions can be classiﬁed into Fermi and
Gamow–Teller types. For the Fermi type, the selection rules are ∆J = 0,
∆π = +, the emitted neutrino and electron have antiparallel spins. For
the Gamow–Teller type, the selection rules are ∆J = 0, ±1, ∆π = +, the
emitted neutrino and electron have parallel spins.
For transition
3
−
2
→
3
−
2
of the Fermi type,
[M
F
[
2
= T(T + 1) −T
iz
T
fz
=
1
2
1
2
+ 1
+
1
2
1
2
= 1 .
Nuclear Physics 345
For transition
3
−
2
→
3
−
2
of the Gamow–Teller type,
[M
GT
[
2
=
J
f
+ 1
J
f
=
3/2 + 1
3/2
=
5
3
.
The coupling constants for the two types are related roughly by [g
GT
[ ≈
1.24[g
F
[. So the ratio of the transition probabilities is
λ
F
λ
GT
=
g
2
F
[M
F
[
2
g
2
GT
[M
GT
[
2
=
1
1.24
2
5/3
= 0.39 .
The transition from
57
Cu to the ﬁrst excited state of
57
Ni is a normal
allowed transition because ∆J = 1, ∆π = +. As the initial and ﬁnal states
are 2p
3/2
and 1f
5/2
, and so the diﬀerence in nuclear structure is greater,
the fT of this transition is larger than that of the superallowed one by
2 to 3 orders of magnitude. In addition, there is the space phase factor
8.85−0.76
8.85
5
= 0.64. Hence the branching ratio is very small, rendering
such a transition diﬃcult to detect.
(d) When we bombard
58
Ni target with protons, the following reaction
may occur:
58
Ni +p →
57
Cu + 2n
As the massexcess ∆ = (M −A) values (in MeV) are
∆(n) ≈ 8.071, ∆(
1
H) = 7.289 ,
∆(
58
Ni) = −60.235, ∆(
57
Cu) ≈ −46.234 .
We have
Q =∆(
58
Ni) + ∆(
1
H) −∆(
57
Cu) −2∆(n)
= −60.235 + 7.289 + 46.234 −2 8.071 = −22.854 MeV.
Hence the reaction is endoergic and protons of suﬃcient energy are
needed. The neutrons can be used to monitor the formation of
57
Cu, and
measuring the delay in β
+
emission relative to n emission provides a means
to study β
+
decay of
57
Cu.
2089
Suppose a search for solar neutrinos is to be mounted using a large sam
ple of lithium enriched in the isotope
7
3
Li. Detection depends on production,
346 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
separation and detection of the electroncapturing isotope
7
4
Be with a half
life of 53 days. The low lying levels of these two nuclei are shown below in
Fig. 2.28. The atomic mass of
7
4
Be in its ground state lies 0.86 MeV above
the atomic mass of
7
3
Li in its ground state.
Fig. 2.28
(a) Discuss the electroncapture modes of the ground state of beryllium
7 by providing estimates for the branching ratios and relative decay prob
abilities (ft ratios).
(b) To calibrate this detector, a point source emitting 10
17
monochro
matic neutrinos/sec with energy 1.5 MeV is placed in the center of a one
metric ton sphere of lithium7. Estimate the total equilibrium disintegra
tion rate of the beryllium7, given
G
V
= 1.42 10
−49
erg cm
3
,
G
A
= 1.60 10
−49
erg cm
3
,
ρ
Li
= 0.53 gm/cm
3
.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Two modes of electron capture are possible:
3
−
2
−
→
3
2
−
: ∆J = 0, ∆P = +,
Nuclear Physics 347
which is a combination of F and GT type transitions;
3
2
−
→
1
2
−
: ∆J = 1, ∆P = +,
which is a pure GT type transition.
7
3
Li and
7
4
Be are mirror nuclei with T =
1
2
, and T
z
=
1
2
and −
1
2
respec
tively.
For the Ftype transition
3
2
−
→
3
2
−
the initial and ﬁnal wave func
tions are similar and so
'M
F
`
2
= T(T + 1) −T
zi
T
zf
=
1
2
3
2
+
1
2
1
2
=
3
4
+
1
4
= 1 .
For the GTtype transition
3
−
2
→
3
−
2
, the singleparticle model gives
'M
G−T
`
2
=
J
f
+ 1
J
f
=
3/2 + 1
3/2
=
5
3
.
For the GTtype transition
3
2
−
→
1
2
−
, the transition is form l +
1
2
to
l −
1
2
with l = 1, and the singleparticle model gives
'M
G−T
`
2
=
4l
2l + 1
=
4
3
.
As λ
K
(M
2
, W
ν
) = [M[
2
W
2
ν
, where W
ν
is the decay energy,
λ
K
3
−
2
→
3
−
2
λ
K
3
−
2
→
1
−
2
=
'M
G−T
`
2
3/2
+
G
2
V
G
2
A
'M
F
`
2
'M
G−T
`
2
1/2
W
2
ν
1
W
2
ν
2
=
5
3
+
1.42
1.60
2
4
3
0.86
0.86 −0.48
2
=
(5 + 0.79 3) 0.86
2
4 (0.86 −0.48)
2
= 9.43 .
Hence the branching ratios are B(
3
−
2
→
3
−
2
) =
9.43
10.43
= 90.4%,
B
3
−
2
→
1
−
2
=
1
10.43
= 9.6%.
348 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
The fT ratio of the two transitions is
(fT)
3/2
−
(fT)
1/2
−
=
'M
G−T
`
2
1/2
'M
G−T
`
2
3/2
+
G
2
V
G
2
A
'M
F
`
2
=
4
3 0.79 + 5
= 0.543 .
(b) When irradiating
7
Li with neutrinos,
7
Li captures neutrino and
becomes
7
Be. On the other hand,
7
Be undergoes decay to
7
Li. Let the
number of
7
Be formed per unit time in the irradiation be ∆N
1
. Consider
a shell of
7
Li of radius r and thickness dr. It contains
4πr
2
ρndr
A
7
Li nuclei, where n =Avogadro’s number, A =mass number of
7
Li. The
neutrino ﬂux at r is
I
0
4πr
2
. If σ =cross section for electroncapture by
7
Li,
a =activity ratio of
7
Li for forming
7
Be, R =radius of the sphere of
7
Li,
the number of
7
Be nuclei produced per unit time is
∆N
1
=
I
0
4πr
2
ρnσa 4πr
2
dr/A = I
0
ρnσaR/A.
With a = 0.925, ρ = 0.53 g cm
−3
, A = 7, n = 6.023 10
23
, R =
3×10
6
4πρ
1
3
= 76.7 cm, I
0
= 10
17
s
−1
, σ ≈ 10
−43
cm
2
, we have
∆N
1
=
10
17
0.53 6.023 10
23
10
−43
0.925 76.7
7
= 3.2 10
−2
s
−1
.
At equilibrium this is also the number of
7
Be that decay to
7
Li.
Hence the rate of disintegration of
7
Be at equilibrium is 3.2 10
−2
s
−1
.
Note that the number of
7
Li produced in
7
Be decays is negligible compared
with the total number present.
2090
It is believed that nucleons (N) interact directly through the weak inter
action and that the latter violates parity conservation. One way to study
the nature of the NN weak interaction is by means of αdecay, as typiﬁed
by the decays of the 3
+
, T = 1 and 3
−
, T = 0 states of
20
Ne (Fig. 2.29).
Nuclear Physics 349
Fig. 2.29
In the following you will be asked to explain the principles of an experi
ment to measure the weakinteraction matrix element between these states,
'3
+
[H
weak
[3
−
`.
(a) The NN weak interaction has isoscalar, isovector, and isotensor
components (i.e., ranks 0,1, and 2 in isospin). Which components contribute
to the matrix element '3
+
[H
weak
[3
−
`?
(b) Explain the parity and isospin selection rules for αdecay. In partic
ular, explain which of the two
20
Ne states would decay to the ground state
of
16
O +α if there were no parityviolating NN interaction.
(c) Allowing for a parityviolating matrix element '3
+
[H
weak
[3
−
` of
1 eV, estimate the α width of the parityforbidden transition, Γ
α
(forbid
den), in terms of the α width of the parityallowed transition, Γ
α
(allowed).
Assume Γ
α
(allowed) is small compared with the separation energy between
the 3
+
, 3
−
states.
(d) The α width of the parityallowed transition is Γ
α
(allowed) =
45 keV, which is not small compared with the separation energy. Do you
expect the ﬁnite width of this state to modify your result of part (c) above?
Discuss.
(e) The direct reaction
19
F(
3
He,d)
20
Ne
∗
populates one of the excited
states strongly. Which one do you expect this to be and why?
(f) There is also a 1
+
/1
−
parity doublet at ∼ 11.23 MeV. Both states
have T = 1.
(i) In this case which state is parityforbidden to αdecay?
350 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(ii) As in part(a), which isospin components of the weak NN interaction
contribute to the mixing matrix element? (Note that
20
Ne is selfconjugate)
Which would be determined by a measurement of the parityforbidden α
width?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) As T = 1 for the 3
+
state and T = 0 for the 3
−
state, only the
isovector component with ∆T = 1 contributes to '3
+
[H
weak
[3
−
`.
(b) αdecay is a strong interaction for which isospin is conserved. Hence
∆T = 0. As the isospin of αparticle is zero, the isospin of the daughter
nucleus should equal that of the parent. As
16
O has T = 0, only the 3
−
,
T = 0 state can undergo αdecay to
16
O + α. As both the spins of
16
O
and α are zero, and the total angular momentum does not change in α
decay, the ﬁnal state orbital angular momentum is l = 3 and so the parity
is (−1)
3
= −1. As it is the same as for the initial state, the transition is
parityallowed.
(c) Fermi’s golden rule gives the ﬁrst order transition probability per
unit time as
λ =
2π
[V
fi
[
2
ρ(E
f
) ,
where V
fi
is the transition matrix element and ρ(E
f
) is the ﬁnal state
density. Then the width of the parityallowed transition (3
−
, T = 0 to
16
O +α) is
Γ
α
=
2π
[V
3
−
→
16
O
[
2
ρ(E
f
) .
The parityforbidden transition (3
+
, T = 1 to
16
O + α) is a second order
process, for which
λ =
2π
¸
n=i
V
fn
V
ni
E
i
−E
n
+iε
2
ρ(E
f
) ,
where 2ε is the width of the intermediate state, and the summation is to
include all intermediate states. In this case, the only intermediate state is
that with 3
−
, T = 0. Hence
Γ
α
=
2π
[V
3
−
→
16
O
[
2
1
(E
i
−E
n
)
2
+ε
2
['3
+
[H
weak
[3
−
`[
2
ρ(E
f
)
= Γ
α
['3
+
[H
weak
[3
−
`[
2
(∆E)
2
+ (Γ
α
/2)
2
,
Nuclear Physics 351
where ∆E is the energy spacing between the 3
+
, 3
−
states, Γ
α
is the width
of the parityallowed transition. If Γ
α
< ∆E, as when '3
+
[H
weak
[3
−
` =
1 eV, ∆E = 0.052 MeV = 52 10
3
eV, we have
Γ
α
≈
['3
+
[H
weak
[3
−
`[
2
(∆E)
2
Γ
α
=
Γ
α
52
2
10
6
= 3.7 10
−10
Γ
α
.
(d) As Γ
α
= 45 keV, (Γ
α
/2)
2
cannot be ignored when compared with
(∆E)
2
. Hence
Γ
α
=
10
−6
52
2
+
45
6
4
Γ
α
= 3.1 10
−10
Γ
α
= 1.4 10
−5
eV.
(e) Consider the reaction
19
F(
3
He, d)
20
Ne
∗
. Let the spins of
19
F,
3
He,
d,
20
Ne, and the captured proton be J
A
, J
a
, J
b
, J
B
, J
p
, the orbital angular
momenta of
3
He, d and the captured proton be l
a
, l
b
, l
p
, respectively. Then
J
A
+J
a
+l
a
= J
B
+J
b
+l
b
.
As
J
A
= J
p
+l
b
, l
a
= l
p
+l
b
, J
A
+s
p
+l
p
= J
B
,
and J
A
=
1
2
, J
B
= 3, J
b
= 1, l
b
= 0, s
p
=
1
2
, we have J
p
=
1
2
, l
p
= 2, 3, 4.
Parity conservation requires P(
19
F)P(p)(−1)
l
p
= P(
20
Ne
∗
), P(
20
Ne
∗
) =
(−1)
l
p
.
Experimentally l
p
is found from the angular distribution to be l
p
= 2.
Then P(
20
Ne
∗
) = +, and so the reaction should populate the 3
+
state of
Ne
∗
, not the 3
−
state.
(f) (i) The 1
+
state is parityforbidden to αdecay. On the other hand, in
the αdecay of the 1
−
state, l
f
+J
α
+J16
O
= 1, P
f
= P(α)P(
16
O)(−1)
l
f
=
−1, so that its αdecay is parityallowed
(ii) As
20
Ne is a selfconjugate nucleus, T
3
= 0 because '1, 0[1, 0; 1, 0` =
0. So only the components of T = 0, 2 can contribute. However in weak
interaction, [∆T[ ≤ 1, and so only the component with ∆T = 0 can con
tribute to the experiment result.
2091
Consider the following energy level structure (Fig. 2.30):
352 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.30
The ground states form an isotriplet as do the excited states (all states
have a spinparity of 0
+
). The ground state of
42
21
Sc can βdecay to the
ground state of
42
20
Ca with a kinetic endpoint energy of 5.4 MeV (transition
II in Fig. 2.30).
(a) Using phase space considerations only, calculate the ratio of rates
for transitions I and II.
(b) Suppose that the nuclear states were, in fact, pure (i.e. unmixed)
eigenstates of isospin. Why would the fact that the Fermi matrix element
is an isospin ladder operator forbid transition I from occurring?
(c) Consider isospin mixing due to electromagnetic interactions. In gen
eral
H
EM
= H
0
+H
1
+H
2
,
where the subscripts refer to the isospin tensor rank of each term. Write
the branching ratio
Γ
I
Γ
II
in terms of the reduced matrix elements of each
part of H
EM
which mixes the states.
(d) Using the results of parts (a) and (c), ignoring H
2
, and given that
Γ
I
Γ
II
= 6 10
−5
, calculate the value of the reduced matrix element which
mixes the ground and excited states of
42
20
Ca.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) From phase space consideration only, for βdecay of E
0
m
e
c
2
,
Γ ≈ E
5
0
(Problem 2077). Thus
Γ
I
Γ
II
=
(5.4 −1.8)
5
(5.4 −0)
5
≈ 0.13 .
Nuclear Physics 353
(b) For Fermi transitions within the same isospin multiplet, because the
structures of the initial and ﬁnal states are similar, the transition proba
bility is large. Such transitions are generally said to be superallowed. For
0
+
→0
+
(T = 1), there is only the Fermi type transition, for which
'M
F
`
2
= 'α, T
f
, T
f3
[
A
¸
K=1
t
±
(K)[α
, T
i
, T
i3
`
2
=
δ
αα
δ
T
i
T
f
T(T + 1) −T
i3
T
f3
2
=
T(T + 1) −T
i3
T
f3
, if α = α
, T
f
= T
i
,
0, otherwise,
ignoring higher order corrections to the Fermi matrix element. Here α is any
nuclear state quantum number other than isospin. From this we see that
channel II is a transition within the same isospin multiplet, i.e., a super
allowed one, channel I is a transition between diﬀerent isospin multiplets,
i.e., a Fermiforbidden transition.
(c) We make use of the perturbation theory. Let the ground and excited
states of
42
Ca be [1` and [2` respectively. Because of the eﬀect of H
EM
,
the states become mixed. Let the mixed states be [1`
and [2`
, noting that
the mixing due to H
EM
is very small. We have
H
0
[1` = E
1
[1` ,
H
0
[2` = E
2
[2` ,
where E
1
and E
2
are the energies of the two states (E
1
≈ E
0
, E
2
−E
1
=
1.8 MeV).
Consider
H = H
0
+H
EM
,
where H
EM
= H
0
+ H
1
+ H
2
. As the index refers to isospin tensor rank,
we write H
0
, H
1
H
2
as P
0,0
, P
1,0
, P
2,0
and deﬁne
'J
1
m
1
[P
µν
[J
2
m
2
` = C
J
1
m
1
µνJ
2
m
2
'J
1
[[P
µν
[[J
2
` .
354 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Then
H
EM
=P
0,0
+P
1,0
+P
2,0
,
'1[H
EM
[2` ='α, 1, −1[(P
0,0
+P
1,0
+P
2,0
)[α
, 1, −1`
=
'α, 1[[P
0
[[α
, 1` −
1
2
'α, 1[[P
1
[[α
, 1`
+
1
10
'α, 1[[P
2
[[α
, 1`
,
'1[H
EM
[1` = '2[H
EM
[2` = 'α, 1, −1[(P
0,0
+P
1,0
+P
2,0
)[α, 1, −1`
='α, 1[[P
0
[[α, 1` −
1
2
'α, 1[[P
1
[[α, 1` +
1
10
'α, 1[[P
2
[[α, 1` .
In the above equations, α and α
denote the quantum numbers of [1`
and [2` other than the isospin, and 'α, 1[[P[[α, 1` denote the relevant part
of the reduced matrix element. Thus
Γ
I
Γ
II
=
E
5
1
[M
1
[
2
E
5
2
[M
2
[
2
=
(5.4 −1.8 −'2[H
EM
[2`)
5
(5.4 −'1[H
EM
[1`)
5
'1[H
EM
[2`
2
(E
2
−E
1
)
2
.
If energy level corrections can be ignored, then '1[H
EM
[1` <E
1
, E
2
, and
Γ
I
Γ
II
=
E
5
10
E
5
20
(E
2
−E
1
)
2
['1[H
EM
[2`[
2
=
(5.4 −1.8)
5
5.4
5
1.8
2
'1[[P
0
[[2` −
1
2
'1[[P
1
[[2` +
1
10
'1[[P
2
[[2`
2
.
If we ignore the contribution of H
2
and assume '1[[P
0
[[2` = 0, then the
isoscalar H does not mix the two isospin states and we have
Γ
I
Γ
II
=
E
5
10
E
5
20
(E
2
−E
1
)
2
['α, 1[[P
1
[[α
, 1`[
2
.
(d) In the simpliﬁed case above,
Γ
I
Γ
II
=
(5.4 −1.8)
5
5.4
5
1.8
2
['α, 1[[P
1
[[α
, 1`[
2
= 6 10
−5
Nuclear Physics 355
gives
['α, 1[[P
1
[[α
, 1`[
2
= 24.6 6 10
−5
= 1.48 10
−3
MeV
2
,
or
['α, 1[[P
1
[[α
, 1`[ = 38 keV.
2092
“Unlike atomic spectroscopy, electric dipole (E1) transitions are not
usually observed between the ﬁrst few nuclear states”.
(a) For light nuclei, give arguments that support this statement on the
basis of the shell model. Indicate situations where exceptions might be
expected.
(b) Make an orderofmagnitude “guesstimate” for the energy and ra
dioactive lifetime of the lowestenergy electric dipole transition expected
for
17
9
F
8
, outlining your choice of input parameters.
(c) Show that for nuclei containing an equal number of neutrons and
protons (N = Z), no electric dipole transitions are expected between two
states with the same isospin T.
The following Clebch–Gordan coeﬃcient may be of use:
Using notation 'J
1
J
2
M
1
M
2
[J
TOT
M
TOT
`, 'J100[J0` = 0.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Based on singleparticle energy levels given by shell model, we see
that levels in the same shell generally have the same parity, especially the
lowestlying levels like 1s, 1p, 1d, 2s shells, etc. For light nuclei, γtransition
occurs mainly between diﬀerent singlenucleon levels. In transitions be
tween diﬀerent energy levels of the same shell, parity does not change. On
the other hand, electric dipole transition E1 follows selection rules ∆J = 0
or 1, ∆P = −1. Transitions that conserve parity cannot be electric dipole
in nature. However if the ground and excited states are not in the same
shell, parity may change in a transition. For example in the transition
1p
3/2
→1s
1/2
, ∆J = 1, ∆P = −1. This is an electric dipole transition.
(b) In the singleparticle model, the lowestenergy electric dipole tran
sition E1 of
17
F is 2s
1/2
→1p
1/2
. The transition probability per unit time
can be estimated by (Problem 2093 with L = 1)
356 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
λ ≈
c
4
e
2
c
E
γ
c
3
'r`
2
,
where E
γ
is the transition energy and 'r` ∼ R = 1.4 10
−13
A
1/3
cm.
Thus
λ ≈
3 10
10
(1.4 10
−13
)
2
4 137 (197 10
−13
)
3
A
2/3
E
3
γ
= 1.4 10
14
A
2/3
E
3
γ
,
where E
γ
is in MeV. For
17
F we may take E
γ
≈ 5 MeV, A = 17, and so
λ = 1.2 10
17
s ,
or
τ = λ
−1
= 9 10
−18
s .
(c) For light or medium nuclei, the isospin is a good quantum number.
A nucleus state can be written as [JmTT
z
`, where J, m refer to angular mo
mentum, T, T
z
refer to isospin. The electric multipole transition operator
between two states is
O
E
(L, E) =
A
¸
K=1
¸
1
2
(1 +τ
z
(K))e
p
+
1
2
(1 −τ
z
(K))e
n
r
L
(K)Y
LM
(r(K))
=
A
¸
K=1
S(L, M, K) 1 +
A
¸
K=1
V (L, M, K)τ
z
(K)
with
S(L, M, K) =
1
2
(e
p
+e
n
)r
L
(K)Y
LM
(r(K)) ,
V (L, M, K) =
1
2
(e
p
−e
n
)r
L
(K)Y
LM
(r(K)) ,
where τ
z
is the z component of the isospin matrix, for which τ
z
φ
n
= −φ
n
,
τ
z
φ
p
= +φ
p
.
The ﬁrst term is related to isospin scalar, the second term to isospin
vector. An electric multipole transition from J, T, T
z
to J
, T
, T
z
can be
written as
Nuclear Physics 357
B
E
(L : J
i
T
i
T
z
→J
f
T
f
T
z
) = 'J
f
T
f
T
z
[O
E
(L)[J
i
T
i
T
z
`
2
/(2J
i
+ 1)
=
1
(2J
i
+ 1)(2T
f
+ 1)
[δ
T
i
T
f
'J
f
T
f
[
A
¸
K=1
S(L, K) 1[J
i
T
i
`
+'T
i
T
z
10[T
f
T
z
`'J
f
T
f
[
A
¸
K=1
V (L, K)τ
z
(K)[J
i
T
i
`]
2
.
From the above equation, we see that for electric multipole transitions
between two states the isospin selection rule is ∆T ≤ 1. When ∆T = 0,
δ
TT
= 0, there is an isospin scalar component; when ∆T = 1, the scalar
component is zero.
For electric dipole transition,
A
¸
K=1
S(L, K) 1 =
A
¸
K=1
1
2
(e
p
+e
n
)r(K)Y
LM
(r(K))
=
1
2
(e
p
+e
n
)
A
¸
K=1
r(K)Y
LM
(r(K)) ,
r being nucleon coordinate relative to the center of mass of the nucleus.
For spherically or axially symmetric nuclei, as
¸
A
K=1
rY
LM
(r(K)) is
zero, the isospin scalar term makes no contribution to electric dipole tran
sition. For the isospin vector term, when T
i
= T
f
= T,
'T
i
T
z
10[T
f
T
z
` =
T
z
T(T + 1)
.
Then for nuclei with Z = N, in transitions between two levels of ∆T = 0,
as T
z
= 0,
'T
i
T
z
10[T
f
T
z
` = 0 .
and so both the isospin scalar and vector terms make no contribution. Thus
for selfconjugate nuclei, states with T
i
= T
f
cannot undergo electric dipole
transition.
2093
(a) Explain why electromagnetic E
λ
radiation is emitted predominantly
with the lowest allowed multipolarity L. Give an estimate for the ratios E
1
:
E
2
: E
3
: E
4
: E
5
for the indicated transitions in
16
O (as shown in Fig. 2.31).
358 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.31
(b) Estimate the lifetime of the 7.1 MeV state. Justify your approxi
mations.
(c) List the possible decay modes of the 6.0 MeV state.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) In nuclear shell theory, γray emission represents transition between
nucleon energy states in a nucleus. For a proton moving in a central ﬁeld
radiation is emitted when it transits from a higher energy state to a lower
one in the nucleus. If L is the degree of the electric multipole radiation,
the transition probability per unit time is given by
λ
E
(L) ≈
2(L + 1)
L[(2L + 1)!!]
2
3
L + 3
2
e
2
k
2L+1
'r
L
`
2
,
where k =
w
c
=
E
γ
c
is the wave number of the radiation, E
γ
being the
transition energy, and 'γ
L
`
2
≈ R
2L
, R = 1.4 10
−13
A
1/3
cm being the
nuclear radius. Thus
λ
E
(L) ≈
2(L + 1)
L[(2L + 1)!!]
2
3
L + 3
2
e
2
Rc
E
γ
c
c
E
γ
R
c
2L
=
2(L + 1)
L[(2L + 1)!!]
2
3
L + 3
2
1
137
3 10
10
E
γ
197 10
−13
Nuclear Physics 359
E
γ
1.4 10
−13
A
1/3
197 10
−13
2L
=
4.4(L + 1)
L[(2L + 1)!!]
2
3
L + 3
2
E
γ
197
2L+1
(1.4A
1/3
)
2L
10
21
s
−1
with E
γ
in MeV. Consider
16
O. If E
γ
∼ 1 MeV, we have
λ
E
(L + 1)
λ
E
(L)
∼ (kR)
2
=
E
γ
R
c
2
=
1.4 10
−13
16
1/3
197 10
−13
2
≈ 3 10
−4
.
Hence λ
E
(L) decreases by a factor 10
−4
as L increases by 1. This means
that E
L
radiation is emitted predominantly with the lowest allowed multi
polarity L.
The tranistions of
16
O indicated in Fig. 2.31 can be summarized in the
table below.
Transition ∆π ∆l Type L E
γ
(MeV)
E
1
yes 3 octopole 3 6.1
E
2
yes 1 dipole 1 0.9
E
3
no 2 quadrupole 2 1.0
E
4
no 2 quadrupole 2 1.0
E
5
yes 1 dipole 1 7.1
Thus we have
λ
E
1
: λ
E
2
: λ
E
3
: λ
E
4
: λ
E
5
=
4
3(7!!)
2
1
2
2
6.1
197
7
(1.4A
1/3
)
6
:
2
(3!!)
2
3
4
2
0.9
197
3
(1.4A
1/3
)
2
:
3
2(5!!)
2
3
5
2
1
197
5
(1.4A
1/3
)
4
:
3
2(5!!)
2
3
5
2
1
197
5
(1.4A
1/3
)
4
360 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
:
2
(3!!)
2
3
4
2
7.1
197
3
(1.4A
1/3
)
2
=1.59 10
−12
: 1.48 10
−7
: 1.25 10
−12
: 1.25 10
−12
: 7.28 10
−5
=2.18 10
−8
: 2.03 10
−3
: 1.72 10
−8
: 1.72 10
−8
: 1
Thus the transition probability of E
5
is the largest, that of E
2
is the
second, those of E
3
, E
4
and E
1
are the smallest.
(b) The halflife of the 7.1 MeV level can be determined from λ
E
5
:
λ
E
5
=
4.4 2
(3!!)
2
3
4
2
7.1
197
3
(1.4 16
1/3
)
2
10
21
= 3.2 10
17
s
−1
,
giving
T
1/2
(7.1 MeV) = ln2/λ
E
5
= 2.2 10
−18
s .
Neglecting transitions to other levels is justiﬁed as their probabilities are
much smaller, e.g.,
λ
E
3
: λ
E
5
= 1.7 10
−8
: 1 .
In addition, use of the singleparticle model is reasonable as it assumes
the nucleus to be spherically symmetric, the initial and ﬁnal state wave
functions to be constant inside the nucleus and zero outside which are
plausible for
16
O.
(c) The γtransition 0
+
→ 0
+
from the 6.0 MeV states to the ground
state of
16
O is forbidden. However, the nucleus can still go to the ground
state by internal conversion.
2094
The γray total nuclear cross section σ
total
(excluding e
+
e
−
pair pro
duction) on neodymium 142 is given in Fig. 2.32
Nuclear Physics 361
Fig. 2.32
(a) Which electric or magnetic multipole is expected to dominate the
cross section and why?
(b) Considering the nucleus simply as two ﬂuids of nucleons (protons
and neutrons), explain qualitatively the origin of the resonance shown in
the ﬁgure.
(c) Using a simple model of the nucleus as A particles bound in an
harmonic oscillator potential, estimate the resonance energy as a function
of A. Does this agree with the observed value in the ﬁgure for A = 142?
(d) Discuss the role of residual twobody interactions in modifying the
estimate in (c).
(e) What are the physical processes responsible for the width of the
resonance? Make rough estimates of the width due to diﬀerent mechanisms.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The excitation curves of reactions (γ, n) and (γ, p) show a broad
resonance of several MeV width from E
γ
= 10 to 20 MeV. This can be
explained as follows. When the nuclear excitation energy increases, the
density of states increases and the level widths become broader. When
the level spacing and level width become comparable, separate levels join
together, so that γrays of a wide range of energy can excite the nucleus,
thus producing a broad resonance. If E
γ
≈ 15 MeV, greater than the
nucleon harmonic oscillator energy ω ≈ 44/A
1/3
MeV, dipole transition
can occur. The singleparticle model gives (Problem 2093(a))
362 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Γ(E2orM1)
Γ(E1)
≈ (kR)
2
=
15 1.4 10
−13
142
1/3
197 10
−13
2
= 0.3 .
Hence the nuclear cross section is due mainly to electric dipole absorp
tion. We can also consider the collective absorption of the nucleus. We see
that absorption of γrays causes the nucleus to deform and when the γ
ray energy equals the nuclear collective vibrational energy levels, resonant
absorption can take place. As E
γ
≈ 15 MeV, for
142
Nd nucleus, electric
dipole, quadrupole, octopole vibrations are all possible. However as the
energy is nearest to the electric dipole energy level, E1 resonant absorption
predominates.
(b) Consider the protons and neutrons inside the nucleus as liquids
that can seep into each other but cannot be compressed. Upon impact of
the incoming photon, the protons and neutrons inside the nucleus tend to
move to diﬀerent sides, and their centers of mass become separated. Con
sequently, the potential energy of the nucleus increases, which generates
restoring forces resulting in dipole vibration. Resonant absorption occurs
if the photon frequency equals the resonant frequency of the harmonic os
cillator.
(c) In a simple harmonicoscillator model we consider a particle of mass
M = Am
N
, m
N
being the nucleon mass, moving in a potential V =
1
2
Kx
2
,
where K, the force constant, is proportional to the nuclear crosssectional
area. The resonant frequency is f ≈
K/M. As K ∝ R
2
∝ A
2/3
, M ∝ A,
we have
f ∝ A
−1/6
≈ A
−0.17
.
This agrees with the experimental result E
γ
∝ A
−0.19
fairly well.
(d) The residual twobody force is noncentric. It can cause the nucleus
to deform and so vibrate more easily. The disparity between the rough
theoretical derivation and experimental results can be explained in terms
of the residual force. In particular, for a much deformed nucleus double
resonance peaks may occur. This has been observed experimently.
(e) The broadening of the width of the giant resonance is due mainly to
nuclear deformation and resonance under the action of the incident photons.
First, the deformation and restoring force are related to many factors and
so the hypothetical harmonic oscillator does not have a “good” quality (Q
value is small), correspondingly the resonance width is broad. Second, the
photon energy can pass on to other nucleons, forming a compound nucleus
Nuclear Physics 363
and redistribution of energy according to the degree of freedom. This may
generate a broad resonance of width from several to 10 MeV. In addition
there are other broadening eﬀects like the Doppler eﬀect of an order of
magnitude of several keV. For a nucleus of A = 142, the broadening due to
Doppler eﬀect is
∆E
D
≈
E
2
γ
Mc
2
≈
15
2
142 940
= 1.7 10
−3
MeV = 1.7 keV.
2095
The total cross section for the absorption of γrays by
208
Pb (whose
ground state has spinparity J
π
= 0
+
) is shown in Fig. 2.33. The peak at
2.6 MeV corresponds to a J
π
= 3
−
level in
208
Pb which γdecays to a 1
−
level at 1.2 MeV (see Fig. 2.34).
Fig. 2.33
Fig. 2.34
(a) What are the possible electric and/or magnetic multipolarities of the
γrays emitted in the transition between the 2.6 MeV and 1.2 MeV levels?
Which one do you expect to dominate?
364 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) The width of the 2.6 MeV level is less than 1 eV, whereas the width
of the level seen at 14 MeV is 1 MeV. Can you suggest a plausible reason
for this large diﬀerence? What experiment might be done to test your
conjecture?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) In the transition 3
−
→ 1
−
, the emitted photon can carry away an
angular momentum l = 4, 3, 2. As there is no parity change, l = 4, 2. Hence
the possible multipolarities of the transition are E4, M3 or E2. The electric
quadrupole transition E2 is expected to dominate.
(b) The width of the 2.6 MeV level, which is less than 1 eV, is typical of
an electromagnetic decay, whereas the 14 MeV obsorption peak is a giant
dipole resonance (Problem 2094). As the resonance energy is high, the
processes are mostly strong interactions with emission of nucleons, where
the singlelevel widths are broader and many levels merge to form a broad,
giant resonance. Thus the diﬀerence in decay mode leads to the large
diﬀerence in level width.
Experimentally, only γrays should be found to be emitted from the
2.6 MeV level while nucleons should also be observed to be emitted from
the 14 MeV level.
2096
Gammarays that are emitted from an excited nuclear state frequently
have nonisotropic angular distribution with respect to the spin direction of
the excited nucleus. Since generally the nuclear spins are not aligned, but
their directions distributed at random, this anisotropy cannot be measured.
However, for nuclides which undergo a cascade of γemissions (e.g.,
60
Ni
which is used for this problemsee Fig. 2.35), the direction of one of the
cascading γrays can be used as a reference for the orientation of a speciﬁc
nucleus. Thus, assuming a negligible halflife for the intermediate state, a
measurement of the coincidence rate between the two γrays can give the
angular correlation which may be used to determine the nuclear spins.
In the case of
60
Ni we ﬁnd such a cascade, namely J
p
= 4
+
→ J
p
=
2
+
→ J
p
= 0
+
. The angular correlation function is of the form W(θ) ∼
1 + 0.1248 cos
2
θ + 0.0418 cos
4
θ.
Nuclear Physics 365
Fig. 2.35
(a) Of what types are the transitions?
(b) Why are the odd powers of cos θ missing? Why is cos
4
θ the highest
power?
(c) Draw a schematic diagram of an experimental setup showing how
you would make the measurements. Identify all components. (Give block
diagram.)
(d) Describe the γray detectors.
(e) How do you determine the coeﬃcients in the correlation function
which would prove that
60
Ni undergoes the transition 4 →2 →0?
(f) Accidental coincidences will occur between the two γray detectors.
How can you take account of them?
(g) How would a source of
22
Na be used to calibrate the detectors and
electronics? (
22
Na emits 0.511 MeV gammas from β
+
annihilation.)
(h) How would Compton scattering of γrays within the
60
Co source
modify the measurements?
(Chicago)
Solution:
(a) Each of the two gammaray cascading emissions subtracts 2 from
the angular momentum of the excited nucleus, but does not change the
parity. Hence the two emissions are of electricquadrupole E2 type.
(b) The angular correlation function for cascading emission can be writ
ten as
366 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
W(θ) =
K
max
¸
K=0
A
2K
P
2K
(cos θ) ,
where 0 ≤ K
max
≤ min(J
b
, L
1
, L
2
),
A
2K
= F
2K
(L
1
, J
a
, J
b
)F
2K
(L
2
, J
c
, J
b
) ,
L
1
, L
2
being the angular momenta of the two γrays, J
a
, J
b
, J
c
being re
spectively the initial, intermediate and ﬁnal nuclear spins, P
2K
(cos θ) are
Legendre polynomials.
Since W(θ) depends on P
2K
(cos θ) only, it consists of even powers of
cos θ. For the 4
+
→ 2
+
→ 0
+
transition of
60
Ni, K
max
is 2. Hence the
highest power of cos θ in P
4
(cos θ) is 4, and so is in W(θ).
(c) Figure 2.36 shows a block diagram of the experimental apparatus to
measure the angular correlation of the γrays. With probe 1 ﬁxed, rotate
probe 2 in the plane of the source and probe 1 about the source to change
the angle θ between the two probes, while keeping the distance between the
probes constant. A fastslowcoincidence method may be used to reduce
spurious coincidences and multiscattering.
Fig. 2.36
(d) A γray detector usually consists of a scintillator, a photomultiplier,
and a signalamplifying highvoltage circuit for the photomultiplier. When
Nuclear Physics 367
the scintillator absorbs a γray, it ﬂuoresces. The ﬂuorescent photons hit the
cathode of the photomultiplier, causing emission of primary photoelectrons,
which are multiplied under the high voltage, giving a signal on the anode.
The signal is then ampliﬁed and processed.
(e) The coincidence counting rate W(θ) is measured for various θ. Fit
ting the experimental data to the angular correlation function we can de
duce the coeﬃcients.
(f) We can link a delay line to one of the γdetectors. If the delay time is
long compared to the lifetime of the intermediate state the signals from the
two detectors can be considered independent, and the coincidence counting
rate accidental. This may then be used to correct the observed data.
(g) The two γphotons of 0.511 MeV produced in the annihilation of
β
+
from
22
Na are emitted at the same time and in opposite directions.
They can be used as a basis for adjusting the relative time delay between
the two detectors to compensate for any inherent delays of the probes and
electronic circuits to get the best result.
(h) The Compton scattering of γrays in the
60
Co source will increase the
irregularity of the γemission and reduce its anisotropy, thereby reducing
the deduced coeﬃcients in the angular correlation function.
2097
A nucleus of mass M is initially in an excited state whose energy is ∆E
above the ground state of the nucleus. The nucleus emits a gammaray of
energy hν and makes a transition to its ground state.
Explain why the gammaray hν is not equal to the energy level diﬀerence
∆E and determine the fractional change
hν−∆E
∆E
. (You may assume ∆E <
Mc
2
)
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The nucleus will recoil when it emits a γray because of the conservation
of momentum. It will thereby acquire some recoil energy fromthe excitation
energy and make hν less than ∆E.
Let the total energy of the nucleus be E and its recoil momentum be p.
The conservation of energy and of momentum give
p = p
γ
, E +E
γ
= Mc
2
+ ∆E .
368 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
As
E
γ
= P
γ
c = hν, E =
p
2
c
2
+M
2
c
4
,
we have
E
γ
=
1
2Mc
2
(∆E)
2
+ 2Mc
2
∆E
1 +
∆E
Mc
2
≈ ∆E −
(∆E)
2
2Mc
2
,
or
hν −∆E
∆E
= −
∆E
2Mc
2
.
2098
A (hypothetical) particle of rest mass m has an excited state of excita
tion energy ∆E, which can be reached by γray absorption. It is assumed
that ∆E/c
2
is not small compared to m.
Find the resonant γray energy, E
γ
, to excite the particle which is ini
tially at rest.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
Denote the particle by A. The reactions is γ + A → A
∗
. Let E
γ
and
p
γ
be the energy and momentum of the γray, p be the momentum of A,
initially at rest, after it absorbs the γray. Conservation of energy requires
E
γ
+mc
2
=
m+
∆E
c
2
2
c
4
+p
2
c
2
.
Momentum conservation requires
p = p
γ
,
or
pc = p
γ
c = E
γ
.
Its substitution in the energy equation gives
E
γ
= ∆E +
(∆E)
2
2mc
2
.
Nuclear Physics 369
Thus the required γray energy is higher than ∆E by
∆E
2
2mc
2
, which provides
for the recoil energy of the particle.
2099
(a) Use the equivalence principle and special relativity to calculate, to
ﬁrst order in y, the frequency shift of a photon which falls straight down
through a distance y at the surface of the earth. (Be sure to specify the
sign.)
(b) It is possible to measure this frequency shift in the laboratory using
the M¨ossbauer eﬀect.
Describe such an experiment — speciﬁcally:
What is the M¨ ossbauer eﬀect and why is it useful here?
What energy would you require the photons to have?
How would you generate such photons?
How would you measure such a small frequency shift?
Estimate the number of photons you would need to detect in order to
have a meaningful measurement.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) Let the original frequency of the photon be ν
0
, and the frequency it
has after falling a distance y in the earth’s gravitational ﬁeld be ν. Then
the equivalent masses of the photon are respectively hν
0
/c
2
and hν/c
2
.
Suppose the earth has mass M and radius R. Conservation of energy
requires
hν
0
−G
M
hν
0
c
2
R+y
= hν −G
M
hν
c
2
R
,
where G is the gravitational constant, or, to ﬁrst order in y,
ν −ν
0
ν
0
=
GM
c
2
1
R
−
1
R+y
≈
gy
c
2
= 1.09 10
−16
y ,
where g is the acceleration due to gravity and y is in meters. For example,
taking y = 20 m we have
ν −ν
0
ν
0
= 2.2 10
−15
.
370 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) In principle, photons emitted by a nucleus should have energy E
γ
equal to the excitation energy E
0
of the nucleus. However, on account of
the recoil of the nucleus which takes away some energy, E
γ
< E
0
, or more
precisely (Problem 2097),
E
γ
= E
0
−
E
2
0
2Mc
2
,
where M is the mass of the nucleus. Likewise, when the nucleus absorbs
a photon by resonant absorption the latter must have energy (Problem
2098)
E
γ
= E
0
+
E
2
0
2Mc
2
.
As
E
2
0
2Mc
2
is usually larger than the natural width of the excited state,
γrays emitted by a nucleus cannot be absorbed by resonant absorption by
the same kind of nucleus.
However, when both the γ source and the absorber are ﬁxed in crystals,
the whole crystal recoils in either process, M → ∞,
E
2
0
2Mc
2
→ 0. Resonant
absorption can now occur for absorber nuclei which are the same as the
source nuclei. This is known as the M¨ossbauer eﬀect. It allows accurate
measurement of γray energy, the precision being limited only by the natural
width of the level.
To measure the frequency shift
∆ν
ν
0
= 2.210
−15
, the γ source used must
have a level of natural width Γ/E
γ
less than ∆ν/ν
0
. A possible choice is
67
Zn which has E
γ
= 93 keV, Γ/E
γ
= 5.0 10
−16
. Crystals of
67
Zn are
used both as source and absorber. At y = 0, both are kept ﬁxed in the
same horizontal plane and the resonant aborption curve is measured. Then
move the source crystal to 20 m above the absorber. The frequency of the
photons arriving at the ﬁxed absorber is ν
0
+ ∆ν and resonant absorption
does not occur. If the absorber is given a downward velocity of v such
that by the Doppler eﬀect the photons have frequency ν
0
as seen by the
absorber, resonant absorption can take place. As
ν
0
= (ν
0
+ ∆ν)
1 −
v
c
≈ ν
0
+ ∆ν −ν
0
v
c
,
v ≈ c
∆ν
ν
0
= 3 10
10
2.2 10
−15
= 6.6 10
−5
cm s
−1
,
which is the velocity required for the absorber.
Nuclear Physics 371
Because the natural width for γemission of
67
Zn is much smaller than
∆ν/ν
0
, there is no need for a high counting rate. A statistical error of
5% at the spectrum peak is suﬃcient for establishing the frequency shift,
corresponding to a photon count of 400.
2100
A parent isotope has a halflife τ
1/2
= 10
4
yr= 3.15 10
11
s. It decays
through a series of radioactive daughters to a ﬁnal stable isotope. Among
the daughters the greatest halflife is 20 yr. Others are less than a year. At
t = 0 one has 10
20
parent nuclei but no daughters.
(a) At t = 0 what is the activity (decays/sec) of the parent isotope?
(b) How long does it take for the population of the 20 yr isotope to
reach approximately 97% of its equilibrium value?
(c) At t = 10
4
yr how many nuclei of the 20 yr isotope are present?
Assume that none of the decays leading to the 20 yr isotope is branched.
(d) The 20 yr isotope has two competing decay modes: α, 99.5%; β,
0.5%. At t = 10
4
yr, what is the activity of the isotope which results from
the βdecay?
(e) Among the radioactive daughters, could any reach their equilib
rium populations much more quickly (or much more slowly) than the 20 yr
isotope?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The decay constant of the parent isotope is
λ
1
=
ln2
τ
1/2
= 6.93 10
−5
yr
−1
= 2.2 10
−12
s
−1
.
When t = 0, the activity of the parent isotope is
A
1
(0) = λ
1
N
1
(t = 0) =
2.2 10
−12
10
20
3.7 10
7
= 5.95 millicurie .
(b) Suppose the 20 yr isotope is the nthgeneration daughter in a ra
dioactive series. Then its population is a function of time:
N
n
(t) = N
1
(0)(h
1
e
−λ
1
t
+h
2
e
−λ
2
t
+ +h
n
e
−λ
n
t
) ,
372 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where
h
1
=
λ
1
λ
2
λ
n−1
(λ
2
−λ
1
)(λ
3
−λ
1
) (λ
n
−λ
1
)
,
h
2
=
λ
1
λ
2
λ
n−1
(λ
1
−λ
2
)(λ
3
−λ
2
) (λ
n
−λ
2
)
,
.
.
.
h
n
=
λ
1
λ
2
λ
n−1
(λ
1
−λ
n
)(λ
2
−λ
n
) (λ
n−1
−λ
n
)
,
where N
1
(0) is the number of the parent nuclei at t = 0, λ
i
is the decay
constant of the ithgeneration daughter. For secular equilibrium we require
λ
1
<λ
j
, j = 2, 3, . . . , n, . . . . As the nth daugther has the largest halflife
of 10
20
yr, we also have λ
n
< λ
j
, j = 2, 3, . . . , (j = n), λ
n
= ln2/τ
1/2
=
3.466 10
−2
yr
−1
. Thus
h
1
≈
λ
1
λ
n
, h
n
≈ −
λ
1
λ
n
.
After a suﬃciently long time the system will reach an equilibrium at which
λ
n
N
e
n
(t) = λ
1
N
e
1
(t), the superscript e denoting equilibrium values, or
N
e
n
(t) =
λ
1
λ
n
N
e
1
(t) =
λ
1
λ
n
N
1
(0)e
−λ
1
t
.
At time t before equilibrium is reached we have
N
n
(t) ≈ N
1
(0)
λ
1
λ
n
e
−λ
1
t
−
λ
1
λ
n
e
−λ
n
t
.
When N
n
(t) = 0.97N
e
n
(t), or
0.97
λ
1
λ
n
N
1
(0)e
−λ
1
t
≈ N
1
(0)
λ
1
λ
n
e
−λ
1
t
−
λ
1
λ
n
e
−λ
n
t
,
the time is t = t
0
given by
t
0
=
ln0.03
λ
1
−λ
n
≈ 101 yr .
Hence after about 101 years the population of the 20 yr isotope will reach
97% of its equilibrium value.
Nuclear Physics 373
(c) At t = 10
4
yr, the system can be considered as in equilibrium. Hence
the population of the 20 yr isotope at that time is
N
n
(10
4
) =
λ
1
λ
n
N
1
(0)e
−λ
1
t
= 10
17
.
(d) After the system has reached equilibrium, all the isotopes will have
the same activity. At t = 10
4
years, the activity of the parent isotope is
A
1
(10
4
) =λ
1
N(0)e
−λ
1
t
= 6.93 10
−5
10
20
exp(−6.93 10
−5
10
4
)
=3.47 10
15
yr
−1
= 3.0 mc .
The activity of the βdecay product of the 20 yr isotope is
A
β
= 3 0.05 = 0.15 mc .
(e) The daughter nuclei ahead of the 20 yr isotope will reach their equi
librium populations more quickly than the 20 yr isotope, while the daughter
nuclei after the 20 yr isotope will reach their equilibrium populations ap
proximately as fast as the 20 yr isotope.
2101
A gold foil 0.02 cm thick is irradiated by a beam of thermal neutrons
with a ﬂux of 10
12
neutrons/cm
2
/s. The nuclide
198
Au with a halflife of 2.7
days is produced by the reaction
197
Au(n, γ)
198
Au. The density of gold is
19.3 gm/cm
3
and the cross section for the above reaction is 97.810
−24
cm
2
.
197
Au is 100% naturally abundant.
(a) If the foil is irradiated for 5 minutes, what is the
198
Au activity of
the foil in decays/cm
2
/s?
(b) What is the maximum amount of
198
Au/cm
2
that can be produced
in the foil?
(c) How long must the foil be irradiated if it is to have 2/3 of its maxi
mum activity?
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) Initially the number of
197
Au nuclei per unit area of foil is
N
1
(0) =
0.02 19.3
197
6.023 10
23
= 1.18 10
21
cm
−2
.
374 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Let the numbers of
197
Au and
198
Au nuclei at time t be N
1
, N
2
respectively,
σ be the cross section of the (n, γ) reaction, I be ﬂux of the incident neutron
beam, and λ be the decay constant of
198
Au. Then
dN
1
dt
= −σIN
1
,
dN
2
dt
=σIN
1
−λN
2
.
Integrating we have
N
1
= N
1
(0)e
−σIt,
,
N
2
=
σI
λ −σI
N
1
(0)(¯ e
σIt
−e
−λt
) .
As
λ =
ln2
2.7 24 3600
= 2.97 10
−6
s
−1
,
σI = 9.78 10
−23
10
12
= 9.78 10
−11
s
−1
<λ,
at t = 5 min = 300 s the activity of
198
Au is
A(300s) = λN
2
(t) =
λσIN
1
(0)
λ −σI
(e
−σIt
−e
−λt
) ≈ σIN
1
(0)(1 −e
−λt
)
= 9.78 10
−11
1.18 10
21
[1 −exp(−2.97 10
−6
300)]
= 1.03 10
8
cm
−2
s
−1
.
(b) After equilibrium is attained, the activity of a nuclide, and hence
the number of its nuclei, remain constant. This is the maximum amount of
198
Au that can be produced. As
dN
2
dt
= 0 ,
we have
λN
2
= σIN
1
≈ σIN
1
(0)
Nuclear Physics 375
giving
N
2
=
σI
λ
N
1
(0) =
9.78 10
−11
2.97 10
−6
1.18 10
21
= 3.89 10
16
cm
−2
.
(c) As
A =
2
3
A
max
≈ σIN
1
(0)(1 −e
−λt
) ,
t = −
1
λ
ln
1 −
2
3
A
max
σIN
1
(0)
= −
1
λ
ln
1 −
2
3
= 3.70 10
5
s = 4.28 day.
2102
In the ﬁssion of
235
U, 4.5% of the ﬁssion lead to
133
Sb. This isotope is
unstable and is the parent of a chain of βemitters ending in stable
133
Cs:
133
Sb
10min
−→
133
Te
60min
−→
133
I
22hours
−→
133
Xe
5.3days
−→
133
Cs .
(a) A sample of 1 gram of uranium is irradiated in a pile for 60 minutes.
During this time it is exposed to a uniform ﬂux of 10
11
neutrons/cm
2
sec.
Calculate the number of atoms of Sb, Te, and I present upon removal from
the pile. Note that uranium consists of 99.3%
238
U and 0.7%
235
U, and the
neutron ﬁssion cross section of
235
U is 500 barns. (You may neglect the
shadowing of one part of the sample by another.)
(b) Twelve hours after removal from the pile the iodine present is re
moved by chemical separation. How many atoms of iodine would be ob
tained if the separation process was 75% eﬃcient?
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The number of Sb atoms produced in the pile per second is
C =N
0
f σ 4.5%
=
1 0.007
235
6.023 10
23
10
11
500 10
−24
0.045
=4.04 10
7
s
−1
.
376 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Let the numbers of atoms of Sb, Te, I present upon removal from the pile
be N
1
, N
2
, N
3
and their decay constants be λ
1
, λ
2
, λ
3
respectively. Then
λ
1
=
ln 2
600
= 1.16 10
−3
s
−1
, λ
2
= 1.93 10
−4
s
−1
, λ
3
= 8.75 10
−6
s
−1
,
and
dN
1
dt
= C −λ
1
N
1
, with N
1
= 0 at t = 0, giving for T = 3600 s,
N
1
(T) =
C
λ
1
(1 −e
−λ
1
T
) = 3.43 10
10
,
dN
2
dt
= λ
1
N
1
−λ
2
N
2
, with N
2
= 0, at t = 0, giving
N
2
(T) =
C
λ
2
1 +
λ
2
λ
1
−λ
2
e
−λ
1
T
−
λ
1
λ
1
−λ
2
e
−λ
2
T
= 8.38 10
10
,
dN
3
dt
= λ
2
N
2
−λ
3
N
3
, with N
3
= 0, at t = 0, giving
N
3
(T) =
C
λ
3
¸
1 −
λ
2
λ
3
e
−λ
1
T
(λ
1
−λ
2
)(λ
1
−λ
3
)
−
λ
3
λ
1
e
−λ
2
T
(λ
2
−λ
3
)(λ
2
−λ
1
)
+
C
λ
3
¸
λ
2
λ
3
(λ
1
−λ
2
)(λ
1
−λ
3
)
−
λ
1
λ
3
(λ
1
−λ
2
)(λ
2
−λ
3
)
−1
e
−λ
3
T
=
C
λ
3
¸
1 −
λ
2
λ
3
e
−λ
1
T
(λ
1
−λ
2
)(λ
1
−λ
3
)
−
λ
3
λ
1
e
−λ
2
T
(λ
2
−λ
3
)(λ
2
−λ
1
)
−
λ
1
λ
2
e
−λ
3
T
(λ
3
−λ
1
)(λ
3
−λ
2
)
≈
C
λ
3
(1 −e
−λ
3
T
)
=
C
λ
3
(1 −0.969) = 2.77 10
10
.
(b) After the sample is removed from the pile, no more Sb is produced,
but the number of Sb atoms will decrease with time. Also, at the initial
time t = T, N
1
, N
2
, N
3
are not zero. We now have
N
1
(t) =N
1
(T)e
−λ
1
t
,
N
2
(t) =
λ
1
λ
2
−λ
1
N
1
(T)e
−λ
1
t
+
¸
N
2
(T) +
λ
1
N
1
(T)
λ
1
−λ
2
e
−λ
2
t
,
N
3
(t) =
λ
1
λ
2
N
1
(T)
(λ
2
−λ
1
)(λ
3
−λ
1
)
e
−λ
1
t
+
λ
2
λ
3
−λ
2
¸
N
2
(T) +
λ
1
N
1
(T)
λ
1
−λ
2
e
−λ
2
t
+
¸
N
3
(T) +
λ
2
λ
2
−λ
3
N
2
(T) +
λ
1
λ
2
N
1
(T)
(λ
1
−λ
3
)(λ
2
−λ
3
)
e
−λ
3
t
.
Nuclear Physics 377
For t = 12 hours, as t τ
1
, τ
2
,
N
3
(12 hours) ≈
¸
N
3
(T) +
λ
2
λ
2
−λ
3
N
2
(T) +
λ
1
λ
2
N
1
(T)
(λ
1
−λ
3
)(λ
2
−λ
3
)
e
−λ
3
t
=10
10
[2.77 + 8.80 + 3.62]
exp(−8.75 10
−6
12 3600)
=1.04 10
11
.
The number of atoms of I isotope obtained is
N = 0.75 N
3
= 7.81 10
10
.
2103
A foil of
7
Li of mass 0.05 gram is irradiated with thermal neutrons
(capture cross section 37 milllibars) and forms
8
Li, which decays by β
−

decay with a halflife of 0.85 sec. Find the equilibrium activity (number of
βdecays per second) when the foil is exposed to a steady neutron ﬂux of
3 10
12
neutrons/seccm
2
.
(Columbia)
Solution:
Let the
7
Li population be N
1
(t), the
8
Li population be N
2
(t). Initially
N
1
(0) =
0.05
7
6.023 10
23
= 4.3 10
21
, N
2
(0) = 0 .
During the neutron irradiation, N
1
(t) changes according to
dN
1
dt
= −σφN
1
,
where σ is the neutron capture cross section and φ is the neutron ﬂux, or
N
1
(t) = N
1
(0)e
−σφt
.
N
2
(t) changes according to
dN
2
dt
= −
dN
1
dt
−λN
2
(t) = N
1
(0)σφe
−σφt
−λN
2
(t) ,
378 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where λ is the βdecay constant of
8
Li. Integration gives
N
2
(t) =
σφ
λ −σφ
(e
−σφt
−e
−λt
)N
1
(0) .
At equilibrium,
dN
2
dt
= 0, which gives the time t it takes to reach equilib
rium:
t =
1
λ −σφ
ln
λ
σφ
.
As λ =
ln 2
0.85
= 0.816 s
−1
, σφ = 3.7 10
−26
3 10
12
= 1.11 10
−13
s
−1
,
t ≈
1
λ
ln
λ
σφ
= 3.63 s .
The equilibrium activity is
A = λN
2
≈
λσφN
1
(0)
λ −σφ
≈ σφN
1
(0) = 4.77 10
8
Bq = 12.9 mc .
2104
In a neutronactivation experiment, a ﬂux of 10
8
neutrons/cm
2
sec is
incident normally on a foil of area 1 cm
2
, density 10
22
atoms/cm
3
, and
thickness 10
−2
cm (Fig. 2.37). The target nuclei have a total cross section
for neutron capture of 1 barn (10
−24
cm
2
), and the capture leads uniquely
to a nuclear state which βdecays with a lifetime of 10
4
sec. At the end of
100 sec of neutron irradiation, at what rate will the foil be emitting βrays?
(Wisconsin)
Fig. 2.37
Solution:
Let the number of target nuclei be N(t), and that of the unstable nuclei
resulting from neutron irradiation be N
β
(t). As the thickness of the target
is 10
−2
cm, it can be considered thin so that
Nuclear Physics 379
dN(t)
dt
= −σφN(t) ,
where φ is the neutron ﬂux, σ is the total neutron capture cross section of
the target nuclei. Integration gives N(t) = N(0)e
−σφt
. As σφ = 10
−24
10
8
= 10
−16
s
−1
, σφt = 10
−14
<1 and we can take N(t) ≈ N(0), then
dN
dt
≈ −σφN(0) ,
indicating that the rate of production is approximately constant.
Consider the unstable nuclide. We have
dN
β
(t)
dt
≈ σφN(0) −λN
β
(t) ,
where λ is the βdecay constant. Integrating we have
N
β
(t) =
σφN(0)
λ
(1 −e
−λt
) ,
and so
A = N
β
(t)λ = σφN(0)(1 −e
−λt
) .
At t = 100 s, the activity of the foil is
A = 10
−16
10
22
1 10
−2
(1 −e
−10
−2
) = 99.5 s
−1
as
λ =
1
10
4
= 10
−4
s .
2105
Radioactive dating is done using the isotope
(a)
238
U.
(b)
12
C.
(c)
14
C.
(CCT)
Solution:
14
C. The radioactive isotope
14
C maintains a small but ﬁxed proportion
in the carbon of the atomsphere as it is continually produced by bombard
ment of cosmic rays. A living entity, by exchanging carbon with the atmo
sphere, also maintains the same isotopic proportion of
14
C. After it dies,
380 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
the exchange ceases and the isotopic proportion attenuates, thus providing
a means of dating the time of death.
12
C is stable and cannot be used for
this purpose.
238
U has a halflife of 4.5 10
9
years, too long for dating.
2106
14
C decays with a halflife of about 5500 years.
(a) What would you guess to be the nature of the decay, and what are
the ﬁnal products? Very brieﬂy explain.
(b) If no more
14
C enters biological systems after their death, estimate
the age of the remains of a tree whose radioactivity (decays/sec) of the type
given in (a) is 1/3 of that of a comparable but relatively young tree.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a)
14
C is a nuclide with excess neutrons, and so it will β
−
decay to
14
N
according to
14
C →
14
N +e
−
+ ¯ v
e
.
(b) The number of
14
C of a biological system attenuates with time after
death according to N(t) = N(0)e
−λt
, which gives the activity of
14
C as
A(t) = λN(t) = A(0)e
−λt
.
Thus the age of the dead tree is
t =
1
λ
ln
A(0)
A(t)
=
τ
1/2
ln2
ln
A(0)
A(t)
=
5500
ln2
ln
3
1
= 8717 years .
2107
Plutonium (
238
Pu, Z = 94) has been used as power source in space
ﬂights.
238
Pu has an αdecay halflife of 90 years (2.7 10
9
sec).
(a) What are the Z and N of the nucleus which remains after αdecay?
Nuclear Physics 381
(b) Why is
238
Pu more likely to emit α’s than deuterons as radiation?
(c) Each of the αparticles is emitted with 5.5 MeV. What is the power
released if there are 238 gms of
238
Pu (610
23
atoms)? (Use any units you
wish but specify.)
(d) If the power source in (c) produces 8 times the minimum required to
run a piece of apparatus, for what period will the source produce suﬃcient
power for that function.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The daughter nucleus has N = 142, Z = 92.
(b) This is because the binding energy of αparticle is higher than that
of deuteron and so more energy will be released in an αdecay. For
238
Pu,
238
94
Pu →
234
92
U +α, Q = 46.186 −38.168 −2.645 ≈ 5.4 MeV,
238
94
Pu →
236
93
Np +d, Q = 46.186 −43.437 −13.136 ≈ −10.4 MeV.
Deuterondecay is not possible as Q < 0.
(c) Because of the recoil of
234
U, the decay energy per
238
Pu is
E
d
= E
α
+E
U
=
p
2
α
2m
α
+
p
2
α
2m
U
= E
α
1 +
m
α
m
U
= 5.5
238
234
= 5.6 MeV.
As the halflife of
238
Pu is T
1/2
= 90 yr = 2.710
9
s, the decay constant is
λ = ln 2/T
1/2
= 2.57 10
−10
s
−1
.
For 238 g of
238
Pu, the energy released per second at the beginning is
dE
dt
= E
d
dN
dt
= E
d
λN
0
= 5.62.5710
−10
610
23
= 8.610
14
MeV/s .
(d) As the amount of
238
Pu nuclei attenuates, so does the power output:
W(t) = W(0)e
−λt
.
When W(t
0
) = W(0)/8,
t
0
= ln8/λ = 3 ln2/λ = 3T
1/2
= 270 yr.
Thus the apparatus can run normally for 270 years.
382 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
6. NUCLEAR REACTIONS (2108 2120)
2108
Typical nuclear excitation energies are about 10
−2
, 10
1
, 10
3
, 10
5
MeV.
(Columbia)
Solution:
10
1
MeV.
2109
The following are atomic masses in units of u (1 u = 932 MeV/c
2
).
Electron 0.000549
152
62
Sm 151.919756
Neutron 1.008665
152
63
Eu 151.921749
1
1
H 1.007825
152
64
Gd 151.919794
(a) What is the Qvalue of the reaction
152
Eu(n,p)?
(b) What types of weakinteraction decay can occur for
152
Eu?
(c) What is the maximum energy of the particles emitted in each of the
processes given in (b)?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The reaction
152
Eu +n →
152
Sm+p has Qvalue
Q =[m(
152
Eu) +m(n) −m(
152
Sm) −m(p)]c
2
=[M(
152
Eu) +m(n) −M(
152
Sm) −M(
1
H)]c
2
=0.002833 u = 2.64 MeV,
where m denotes nuclear masses, M denotes atomic masses. The eﬀects
of the binding energy of the orbiting electrons have been neglected in the
calculation.
(b) The possible weakinteraction decays for
152
Eu are βdecays and
electron capture:
Nuclear Physics 383
β
−
decay :
152
Eu →
152
Gd +e
−
+ ¯ ν
e
,
β
+
decay :
152
Eu →
152
Sm+e
+
+ν
e
,
orbital electron capture :
152
Eu +e
−
→
152
Sm+ν
e
.
Consider the respective Qvalues:
β
−
decay : E
d
(β
−
) = [M(
152
Eu) −M(
152
Gd)]c
2
= 1.822 MeV > 0 ,
energetically possible.
β
+
decay : E
d
(β
+
) =[M(
152
Eu) −M(
152
Sm) −2m(e)]c
2
=0.831 MeV > 0 ,
energetically possible.
Orbital electron capture:
E
d
(EC) = [M(
152
Eu) −M(
152
Sm)]c
2
−W
j
= 1.858 MeV−W
j
,
where W
j
is the electron binding energy in atomic orbits, the subscript j
indicating the shell K, L, M, etc., of the electron. Generally W
j
<1 MeV,
and orbital electron capture is also energetically possible for
152
Eu.
(c) As the mass of electron is much smaller than that of the daughter
nucleus, the latter’s recoil can be neglected. Then the maximum energies
of the particles emitted in the processes given in (b) are just the decay
energies. Thus
for β
−
decay, the maximum energy of electron is 1.822 MeV,
for β
+
decay, the maximum energy of positron is 0.831 MeV.
For orbital electron capture, the neutrinos are monoenergetic, their ener
gies depending on the binding energies of the electron shells from which they
are captured. For example, for K capture, W
k
≈ 50 keV, E
ν
≈ 1.8 MeV.
2110
(a) Consider the nuclear reaction
1
H +
A
X →
2
H +
A−1
X .
384 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
For which of the following target nuclei
A
X do you expect the reaction to
be the strongest, and why?
A
X =
39
Ca,
40
Ca,
41
Ca .
(b) Use whatever general information you have about nuclei to estimate
the temperature necessary in a fusion reactor to support the reaction
2
H +
2
H →
3
He +n.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The reaction is strongest with a target of
41
Ca. In the reaction the
proton combines with a neutron in
41
Ca to form a deuteron. The isotope
41
Ca has an excess neutron outside of a doublefull shell, which means that
the binding energy of the last neutron is lower than those of
40
Ca,
39
Ca,
and so it is easier to pick up.
(b) To facilitate the reaction
2
H+
2
H →
3
H+n, the two deuterons must
be able to overcome the Coulomb barrier V (r) =
1
4πε
0
e
2
r
, where r is the
distance between the deuterons. Take the radius of deuteron as 2 fm. Then
r
min
= 4 10
−15
m, and V
max
=
1
4πε
0
e
2
r
min
. The temperature required is
T
V
max
k
=
1
4πε
0
e
2
r
min
1
k
=
1
4πε
0
e
2
c
c
r
min
1
k
=
1
137
197 10
−15
4 10
−15
1
8.6 10
−11
= 4 10
9
K .
In the above k is Boltzmann’s constant. Thus the temperature must be
higher than 410
9
K for the fusion reaction
2
H+
2
H →
3
He +n to occur.
2111
(a) Describe one possible experiment to determine the positions (exci
tation energies) of the excited states (energy levels) of a nucleus such as
13
C. State the target, reaction process, and detector used.
(b) In the proposed experiment, what type of observation relates to the
angular momentum of the excited state?
(Wisconsin)
Nuclear Physics 385
Solution:
(a) Bombard a target of
12
C with deuterons and detect the energy spec
trum of the protons emitted in the reaction
12
C(d,p)
13
C with a goldsilicon
surfacebarrier semiconductor detector. This, combined with the known
energy of the incident deuterons, then gives the energy levels of the excited
states of
13
C. One can also use a Ge detector to measure the energy of the
γrays emitted in the deexcitation of
13
C
∗
and deduce the excited energy
levels.
(b) From the known spinparity of
12
C and the measured angular dis
tribution of the reaction product p we can deduced the spinparity of the
resultant nucleus
13
C.
2112
Given the atomic mass excess (M −A) in keV:
1
n = 8071 keV,
1
H = 7289 keV,
7
Li = 14907 keV,
7
Be = 15769 keV,
and for an electron m
0
c
2
= 511 keV.
(a) Under what circumstances will the reaction
7
Li(p,n)
7
Be occur?
(b) What will be the laboratory energy of the neutrons at threshold for
neutron emission?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) In
7
Li +p →
7
Be + n +Q the reaction energy Q is
Q =∆M(
7
Li) + ∆M(
1
H) −∆M(
7
Be) −∆M(n)
=14907 + 7289 −15769 −8071 = −1644 keV.
This means that in the centerofmass system, the total kinetic energy
of
7
Li and p must reach 1644 keV for the reaction to occur. Let E, P be
the total energy and momentum of the proton in the laboratory system.
We require
(E +m
Li
c
2
)
2
−P
2
c
2
= ([Q[ +m
Li
c
2
+m
p
c
2
)
2
.
386 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
As E
2
= m
2
p
c
4
+ P
2
c
2
, E ≈ T + m
p
c
2
, [Q[ < m
Li
, m
p
, we have
2(E −m
p
c
2
)m
Li
c
2
≈ 2[Q[(m
Li
+m
p
)c
2
, or
T =
m
p
+m
Li
m
Li
[Q[ ≈
1 + 7
7
1644 = 1879 keV.
Thus the kinetic energy T of the incident proton must be higher than
1879 keV.
(b) The velocity of the center of mass in the laboratory is
V
c
=
m
p
m
p
+m
Li
V
p
.
As at threshold the neutron is produced at rest in the centerofmass system,
its velocity the laboratory is V
c
. Its laboratory kinetic energy is therefore
1
2
m
n
V
2
c
=
1
2
m
n
m
2
p
(m
p
+m
Li
)
2
2T
m
p
=
m
n
m
p
T
(m
p
+m
Li
)
2
≈
T
64
= 29.4 keV.
2113
The nucleus
8
Be is unstable with respect to dissociation into two α
particles, but experiments on nuclear reactions characterize the two lowest
unstable levels as
J = 0, even parity, ∼95 keV above the dissociation level,
J = 2, even parity, ∼3 MeV above the dissociation level.
Consider how the existence of these levels inﬂuence the scattering of
αparticles from helium gas. Speciﬁcally:
(a) Write the wave function for the elastic scattering in its partial wave
expansion for r →∞.
(b) Describe qualitatively how the relevant phase shifts vary as functions
of energy in the proximity of each level.
(c) Describe how the variation aﬀects the angular distribution of α
particles.
(Chicago)
Solution:
(a) The wave function for elastic scattering of αparticle (He
++
) by
a helium nucleus involves two additive phase shifts arising from Coulomb
Nuclear Physics 387
interaction (δ
l
) and nuclear forces (η
l
). To account for the identity of the
two (spinless) particles, the spatial wave function must be symmetric with
an even value of l. Its partial wave at r →∞ is
∞
¸
l=0
1 + (−1)
l
2
(2l + 1)i
l
e
i(δ
l
+η
l
)
1
kr
sin
¸
kr −
lπ
2
−γ ln(2kr) +δ
l
+η
l
P
l
(cos θ) ,
where k is the wave number in the centerofmass system and γ = (2e)
2
/v,
v being the relative velocity of the αparticles.
(b) The attractive nuclear forces cause each η
l
to rise from zero as
the centerofmass energy increases to moderately high values. Speciﬁcally
each η
l
rises rather rapidly, by nearly π radians at each resonance, as the
energy approaches and then surpasses any unstable level of a deﬁnite l of
the compound nucleus, e.g., near 95 keV for l = 0 and near 3 MeV for l = 2
in the case of
8
Be.
However, the eﬀect of nuclear forces remains generally negligible at en
ergies lower than the Coulomb barrier, or whenever the combination of
Coulomb repulsion and centrifugal forces reduces the amplitude of the rel
evant partial wave at values of r within the range of nuclear forces. Thus
η
l
remains ∼ 0 (or ∼ nπ) except when very near a resonance, where η
l
,
rises by π anyhow. Taking R ∼ 1.5 fm as the radius of each He
++
nucleus,
the height of the Coulomb barrier when two such nuclei touch each other
is B ∼ (2e)
2
/2R ∼ 2 MeV. Therefore the width of the l = 0 resonance
at 95 keV is greatly suppressed by the Coulomb barrier, while the l = 2
resonance remains broad.
(c) To show the eﬀect of nuclear forces on the angular distribution one
may rewrite the partial wave expansion as
∞
¸
l=0
1 + (−1)
l
2
(2l + 1)i
l
e
iδ
l
1
kr
sin
kr −
lπ
2
−γ ln(2kr) +δ
l
+
e
2iη
l
−1
2i
exp
¸
i
kr −
lπ
2
−γ ln(2kr) +δ
l
¸
P
l
(cos θ) .
Here the ﬁrst term inside the brackets represents the Coulomb scattering
wave function unaﬀected by nuclear forces. The contribution of this term
can be summed over l to give
388 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
expi¦kr cos θ −γ ln[kr(1 −cos θ)] +δ
0
¦ −γ(kr)
−1
expi¦kr cos θ
−γ ln(kr) +δ
0
¦
1
√
2
¸
e
−iγ ln(1−cos θ)
1 −cos θ
+
e
−iγ ln(1+cos θ)
1 + cos θ
.
The second term represents the scattering wave due to nuclear forces, which
interferes with the Coulomb scattering wave in each direction. However,
it is extremely small for η
l
very close to nπ, as for energies below the
Coulomb barrier. Accordingly, detection of such interference may signal
the occurence of a resonance at some lower energy.
An experiment in 1956 showed no signiﬁcant interference from nuclear
scattering below 300 keV centerofmass energy, at which energy it was
found η
0
= (178 ±1) degrees.
2114
A 3MV Van de Graaﬀ generator is equipped to accelerate protons,
deuterons, doubly ionized
3
He particles, and alphaparticles.
(a) What are the maximum energies of the various particles available
from this machine?
(b) List the reactions by which the isotope
15
O can be prepared with
this equipment.
(c) List at least six reactions in which
15
N is the compound nucleus.
Fig. 2.38
(d) Describe two types of reaction experiment which can be carried out
with this accelerator to determine energy levels in
15
N. Derive any equations
Nuclear Physics 389
needed. (Assume all masses are known. Figure 2.38 shows the isotopes of
light nuclei.)
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The available maximum energies of the various particles are: 3 MeV
for proton, 3 MeV for deuteron, 6 MeV for doubly ionized
3
He, 6 MeV for
αparticle.
(b) Based energy consideration, the reactions that can produce
15
O are
p +
14
N →
15
O +γ, Q = 7.292 MeV,
d +
14
N →
15
O +n, Q = 5.067 MeV,
3
He +
13
C →
15
O +n, Q = 6.476 MeV.
15
O cannot be produced with αparticles because of their high binding
energy and small mass, which result in Q = −8.35 MeV.
(c) The reactions in which
15
N is the compound nucleus are
α +
11
B →
15
N
∗
→
14
N +n, Q = 0.158 MeV,
→
15
N
∗
→
14
C +p, Q = 0.874 MeV,
→
15
N
∗
→
15
N +γ, Q = 10.991 MeV,
d +
13
C →
15
N
∗
→
14
N +n, Q = 5.325 MeV,
→
15
N
∗
→
11
B +α, Q = 5.168 MeV,
→
15
N
∗
→
14
C +p, Q = 5.952 MeV.
(d) (1) For the reaction α+
11
B →
15
N
∗
→
15
N +γ, measure the γray
yield curve as a function of the energy E
α
of the incoming αparticles. A
resonance peak corresponds to an energy level of the compound nucleus
15
N
∗
, which can be calculated:
E
∗
=
11
15
E
α
+m(
4
He)c
2
+m(
11
B)c
2
−m(
15
N)c
2
.
(2) With incoming particles of known energy, measuring the energy
spectrums of the produced particles enables one to determine the energy
levels of
15
N
∗
. For instance, the reaction
390 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
3
He +
14
N →
15
N +d
has Q = 4.558 MeV for ground state
15
N. If the incoming
3
He has en
ergy E
0
, the outgoing deuteron has energy E
and angle of emission θ, the
excitation energy E
∗
is given by
E
∗
= Q−Q
,
where
Q
=
¸
1 +
m(d)
m(
15
N)
E
−
¸
1 −
m(
3
He)
m(
15
N)
E
0
−
2
m(
3
He)m(d)E
0
E
m(
15
N)
cos θ
=
1 +
2
15
E
−
1 −
3
15
E
0
−2
√
3 2E
0
E
15
cos θ
=
1
15
(17E
−12E
0
−2
6E
0
E
cos θ) .
2115
When Li
6
(whose ground state has J = 1, even parity) is bombarded
by deuterons, the reaction rate in the reaction Li
6
+ d → α + α shows
a resonance peak at E (deuteron)= 0.6 MeV. The angular distribution of
the αparticle produced shows a (1 + Acos
2
θ) dependence where θ is the
emission angle relative to the direction of incidence of the deuterons. The
ground state of the deuteron consists of a proton and a neutron in
3
S
1
conﬁguration. The masses of the relevant nuclides are
m
d
=2.0147 amu, m
α
= 4.003 amu,
m
Li
=6.0170 amu, m
Be
= 8.0079 amu,
where 1 amu = 938.2 MeV.
From this information alone, determine the energy, angular momentum,
and parity of the excited level in the compound nucleus. What partial
wave deuterons (s,p,d, etc.) are eﬀective in producing this excited level?
(explain)
(Columbia)
Nuclear Physics 391
Solution:
The excitation energy of the compound nucleus
8
Be
∗
in the reaction
d +
6
Li →
8
Be
∗
is
E(
8
Be
∗
) = [m(
2
H) +m(
6
Li) −m(
8
Be)] +E
d
m(
6
Li)
m(
6
Li) +m(
2
H)
= (2.0147 + 6.0170 −8.0079) 938.2 + 0.6
6
8
= 22.779 MeV.
In the decay
8
Be
∗
→α+α, as J
π
of α is 0
+
, the symmetry of the total
wave function of the ﬁnal state requires that l
f
, the relative orbital angular
momentum of the two αparticles, be even and the decay, being a strong
interaction, conserve parity, the parity of
8
Be
∗
is π(
8
Be
∗
) = (−1)
l
f
(+1)
2
=
+1.
As the angular distribution of the ﬁnal state αparticles is not spherically
symmetric but corresponds to l
f
= 2, we have
J
π
(
8
Be
∗
) = 2
+
.
Then the total angular momentum of the initial state d+
6
Li is also J
i
= 2.
As J
i
= J
d
+J
Li
+l
i
= 1 +1 +l
i
and as
1 +1 =
0
1, the possible values of l
i
are 0,1,2,3,4.
2
However, the ground state parities of
6
Li and d are both positive, l
i
must
be even. As the angular distribution of the ﬁnal state is not isotropic, l
i
= 0
and the possible values of l
i
are 2,4. So dwaves produce the main eﬀect.
2116
Fast neutrons impinge on a 10cm thick sample containing 10
21 53
Cr
atoms/cm
3
. Onetenth of one percent of the neutrons are captured into a
spinparity J
π
= 0
+
excited state in
54
Cr. What is the neutron capture
cross section for this state? The excited
54
Cr sometimes γdecays as shown
in Fig. 2.39. What is the most likely J
π
for the excited state at 9.2 MeV?
What are the multipolarities of the γrays?
(Wisconsin)
392 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
Let the number of neutrons impinging on the sample be n and the
neutron capture cross section for forming the 0
+
state be σ. Then 10
10
21
nσ = 10
−3
n, or
σ = 10
−25
cm
2
= 0.1 b .
Let the spinparity of the 9.2 MeV level be J
p
. As
54
Cr only occasionally
γdecays, the transitions are probably not of the E1 type, but correspond to
the next lowest order. Consider 0
+
→J
p
. If ∆J = 2, the electric multipole
ﬁeld has parity (−1)
∆J
= +, i.e. J
p
= 2
+
, and the transition is of the E2
type. The transitions γ
2
, γ
3
are also between 0
+
and 2
+
states, so they are
probably of the E2 type too. For γ
4
: 2
+
→2
+
, we have ∆L = 1, 2, 3 or 4.
For no parity change between the initial and ﬁnal states, γ
4
must be E2,
E4 or M1, M3. Hence most probably γ
4
= E2, or M1, or both.
Fig. 2.39
2117
The surface of a detector is coated with a thin layer of a naturally
ﬁssioning heavy nuclei. The detector area is 2 cm
2
and the mean life of the
ﬁssioning isotope is
1
3
10
9
years (1 yr = 3 10
7
sec.). Twenty ﬁssions are
detected per second. The detector is then placed in a uniform neutron ﬂux
Nuclear Physics 393
of 10
11
neutrons/cm
2
/sec. The number of ﬁssions detected in the neutron
ﬂux is 120 per second. What is the cross section for neutroninduced ﬁssion?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
Let the number of the heavy nuclei be N. Then the number of natural
ﬁssions taking place per second is
dN
dt
= −λN ≈ −λN
0
,
where N
0
= N[
t=0
, as λ =
1
1
3
×10
9
×3×10
7
= 10
−16
<1.
The number of induced ﬁssions per second is σNφ ≈ σN
0
φ, where φ is
the neutron ﬂux, σ is the cross section for neutroninduced ﬁssion. As
σN
0
φ +λN
0
λN
0
=
120
20
,
or
σφ
λ
=
100
20
= 5 ,
we have
σ =
5λ
φ
=
5 10
−16
10
11
= 5 10
−27
cm
2
= 5 mb.
2118
(a) How do you expect the neutron elastic scattering cross section to
depend on energy for very low energy neutrons?
(b) Assuming nonresonant scattering, estimate the thermal neutron
elastic cross section for
3
He.
(c) Use the information in the partial level scheme for A = 4 shown in
Fig. 2.40 to estimate the thermal neutron absorption cross section for
3
He.
Resonant scattering may be important here.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) For thermal neutrons of very low energies, the elastic scattering cross
section of light nuclei does not depend on the neutron energy, but is constant
394 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.40
for a large range of energy. But for heavier nuclei, resonant scattering can
occur in some cases at very low neutron energies. For instance, resonant
scattering with
157
Gd occurs at E
n
= 0.044 eV.
(b) The thermal neutron nonresonant scattering cross section for nuclei
is about 4πR
2
0
, where R
0
is the channel radius, which is equal to the sum
of the radii of the incoming particle and the target nucleus. Taking the
nuclear radius as
R ≈ 1.5 10
−13
A
1/3
,
the elastic scattering cross section of
3
He for thermal neutron is
σ = 4πR
2
0
≈ 4π[1.5 10
−13
(3
1/3
+ 1)]
2
= 1.7 10
−24
cm
2
= 1.7 b .
(c) The Breit–Wigner formula
σ
nb
= π
¯
λ
2
Γ
n
Γ
b
(E
−E
0
)
2
+ Γ
2
/4
can be used to calculate the neutron capture cross section for
3
He in the
neighborhood of a single resonance. Here
¯
λ is the reduced wavelength of the
incident particle, E
is the energy and E
0
is the energy at resonance peak
of the compound nucleus A = 4, Γ
n
and Γ
b
are the partial widths of the
resonant state for absorption of neutron and for emission of b respectively,
and Γ is the total level width.
Nuclear Physics 395
For laboratory thermal neutrons, E
n
≈ 0.025 eV ,
¯
λ =
√
2µE
n
=
2m
n
m
He
m
n
+m
He
E
n
=
c
3
2
E
n
m
n
c
2
=
197 10
−13
3
2
2.5 10
−8
940
= 3.3 10
−9
cm.
As both the ﬁrst excited and ground states of
4
He have 0
+
, Γ
γ
= 0, and
the only outgoing channel is for the excited state of
4
He to emit a proton.
The total width is Γ = Γ
n
+ Γ
p
. With Γ
n
≈ 150 eV , Γ ≈ Γ
p
= 1.2 MeV,
E
= 20.6 MeV, E = 20.1 MeV, we obtain
σ = π
¯
λ
2
Γ
n
Γ
p
(E
−E
0
)
2
+ Γ
2
/4
= 1 10
−20
cm
2
= 1 10
4
b .
2119
Typical cross section for low energy neutronnucleus scattering is 10
−16
,
10
−24
, 10
−32
, 10
−40
cm
2
.
(Columbia)
Solution:
10
−24
cm
2
. The radius of the sphere of action of nuclear forces is ∼
10
−12
− 10
−13
cm, and a typical scattering crosssection can be expected
to be of the same order of magnitude as its crosssectional area.
2120
In experiments on the reaction
21
Ne(d,
3
He)
20
F with 26 MeV deuterons,
many states in
20
F are excited. The angular distributions are characteristic
of the direct reaction mechanism and therefore are easily sorted into those
for which the angular momentum of the transferred proton is l
p
= 0 or 1
or 2.
The lowest energy levels of
21
Ne and the known negativeparity states
of
20
F below 4 MeV are as shown in Fig. 2.41 (the many positiveparity
excited states of
20
F are omitted).
396 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.41
The relative l
p
= 1 strengths S(J
π
) observed in the (d,
3
He) reaction
are approximately
S(1
−
) =0.84 ,
S(2
−
1
) =0.78 ,
S(2
−
2
) =0.79 ,
S(3
−
) =0.00 .
(a) If the
21
Ne target and a
20
F state both have (1s0d) conﬁguration,
they both have positive parity and therefore some l
p
= 0 or l
p
= 2 transi
tions are expected. On the other hand, the ﬁnal states of
20
F with negative
parity are excited with l
p
= 1. Explain.
(b) In order to explain the observed negativeparity states in
20
F, one
can try a coupling model of a hole weakly coupled to states of
21
Ne. With
this model of a
21
Ne nucleus with an appropriate missing proton and level
diagrams as given above, show how one can account for the negativeparity
states in
20
F.
(c) In the limit of weak coupling; i.e., with no residual interaction be
tween the hole and the particles, what would be the (relative) energies of
the 4 negativeparity states?
(d) What would be the eﬀect if now a weak particlehole interaction
were turned on? Do the appropriate centroids of the reported energies of
the 1
−
, 2
−
, 2
−
, 3
−
states conform to this new situation?
Nuclear Physics 397
(e) The weak coupling model and the theory of direct reactions lead
to speciﬁc predictions about the relative cross sections (strengths) for the
various ﬁnal states. Compare these predictions with the observed Sfactors
given above. Show how the latter can be used to obtain better agreement
with the prediction in part (d).
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The reactions are strong interactions, in which parity is conserved.
So the parity change from initial to ﬁnal state must equal the parity of the
proton that is emitted as part of
3
He:
P(
21
Ne) = P(
20
F)P(p) = P(
20
F)(−1)
l
p
.
When both
20
F and
21
Ne have even parity, (−1)
l
p
= 1 and so l
p
= 0, 2 .
As conservation of the total angular momentum requires that l
p
be 0, 1,
2, we have l
p
= 0, 2. Similarly, for the negativeparity states of
20
F, the
angular momentum that the proton takes away can only be 1, 3 . In
particular for 1
−
and 2
−
states of
20
F, l
p
= 1.
(b) In the weak coupling model,
20
F can be considered as consisting of
21
Ne and a proton hole (p
−
). J
p
of
20
F is then determined by a neutron
in 1d
3/2
, 1d
5/2
, or 2s
1/2
and a proton hole in 1p
1/2
, 1p
3/2
or 2s
1/2
, etc.,
outside of full shells (Fig. 2.16). For example, the 1
−
state of
20
F can be
denoted as
[1M` =[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
; 1, M`
=
¸
m
1
,m
2
1
2
,
3
2
, m
1
, m
2
1, M
ψ
1/2m
ψ
3/2m
.
where
1
p
−1
1/2
means a proton hole in 1p
1/2
state, 1d
3/2
means a neutron in
1d
3/2
state. In the same way, the 2
−
can be denoted as
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
; 2, M` and [1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
; 2, M` ,
the 3
−
state can be denoted as
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
; 3, M` .
398 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(c) We have H = H
p
+H
h
+V
ph
, where H
p
and H
h
are respectively the
Hamiltonian of the nuclear center and the hole, and V
ph
is the potential
due to the interaction of the hole and the nuclear center. In the limit of
weak coupling,
V
ph
= 0 ,
H
p
ψ(a
1
, j
1
, m
1
) = E
a
1
,j
1
,m
1
ψ(a
1
, j
1
, m
1
) ,
H
h
φ(a
2
, j
2
, m
2
) = E
a
2
,j
2
,m
2
φ(a
2
, j
2
, m
2
) .
Then for the four negativeparity states we have
3
−
: E
3
− = E
p
(1d
5/2
) +E
h
(1p
1/2
) ,
2
−
1
: E
2
−
1
= E
p
(1d
5/2
) +E
h
(1p
1/2
) ,
2
−
2
: E
2
−
2
= E
p
(1d
3/2
) +E
h
(1p
1/2
) ,
1
−
: E
1
− = E
p
(1d
3/2
) +E
h
(1p
1/2
) .
Thus E
3
− = E
2
−
1
, E
2
−
2
= E
1
−, as shown in Fig. 2.42, with values
E
3
− = E
2
−
1
= 1230 keV, E
2
−
2
= E
1
− = 890 keV.
Fig. 2.42
(d) If V
ph
= 0, i.e., coupling exists, then
E
3
− = H
p
(1d
5/2
) +H
h
(1p
1/2
) +'1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 3[V
ph
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 3` ,
E
1
− = H
p
(1d
3/2
) +H
h
(1p
1/2
) +'1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 1[V
ph
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 1` .
Nuclear Physics 399
As
'1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 3
−
[V
ph
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 3
−
` ≈ 0.7 MeV,
'1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 1
−
[V
ph
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 1
−
` ≈ 0.1 MeV,
'1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 2
−
[V
ph
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 2
−
` = 0.45 MeV,
'1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 2
−
[V
ph
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 2
−
` = 0.25 MeV,
'1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 2
−
[V
ph
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 2
−
`
= '1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 2
−
[V
ph
[1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 2
−
`
= 0.3 MeV.
the above gives
E
3
−
= 0.9 + 0.35 + 0.7 = 1.95 MeV
E
1
−
= 0.9 + 0.1 = 1.0 MeV.
E
2
−
1
and E
2
−
2
are the eigenvalues of the matrix
1p
−1
1/2
; 1d
5/2
, 2
−
H1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 2
−
1p
−1
1/2
; 1d
5/2
, 2
−
H1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 2
−
1p
−1
1/2
; 1d
3/2
, 2
−
H1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
5/2
, 2
−
1p
−1
1/2
; 1d
3/2
, 2
−
H1p
−1
1/2
, 1d
3/2
, 2
−
.
The secular equation
λ −1.95 −0.3
−0.3 λ −1.1
= 0
gives E
2
−
1
= λ
1
= 1.80 MeV, E
2
−
2
= λ
2
= 1.26 MeV.
The energy levels are shown in Fig. 2.43.
400 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 2.43
(e) The relative strengths of the various ﬁnal states as given by diﬀerent
theories are compared in the table below:
Nilson model PHF Shell model Experimental
S(1
−
) 0.70 0.76 0.59 0.84
S(2
−
1
) 0.93 0.20 0.72 0.78
S(2
−
2
) 0.28 0.20 0.23 0.79
S(3
−
) 0.002 0.00
It is noted in particular that for S(2
−
2
), the theoretical values are much
smaller than the experimental values.
PART III
PARTICLES PHYSICS
This Page Intentionally Left Blank
1. INTERACTIONS AND SYMMETRIES (3001 3037)
3001
The interactions between elementary particles are commonly classiﬁed
in order of decreasing strength as strong, electromagnetic, weak and gravi
tational.
(a) Explain, as precisely and quantitatively as possible, what is meant
by ‘strength’ in this context, and how the relative strengths of these inter
actions are compared.
(b) For each of the ﬁrst three classes state what conservation laws ap
ply to the interaction. Justify your answers by reference to experimental
evidence.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The interactions can be classiﬁed according to the value of a char
acteristic dimensionless constant related through a coupling constant to
the interaction cross section and interaction time. The stronger the in
teraction, the larger is the interaction cross section and the shorter is the
interaction time.
Strong interaction: Range of interaction ∼ 10
−13
cm. For example, the
interaction potential between two nuclei has the from
V (r) =
g
h
r
exp
−
r
R
,
where R ≈ /m
π
c is the Compton wavelength of pion. Note the exponential
function indicates a short interaction length. The dimensionless constant
g
2
h
/c ≈ 1 ∼ 10
gives the interaction strength.
Electromagnetic interaction: The potential for two particles of charge e
at distance r apart has the form
V
e
(r) = e
2
/r .
The dimensionless constant characteristic of interaction strength is the
ﬁne structure constant
α = e
2
/c ≈ 1/137 .
403
404 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Weak interaction: Also a shortrange interaction, its strength is repre
sented by the Fermi coupling constant for βdecay
G
F
= 1.4 10
−49
erg cm
3
.
The potential of weak interaction has the form
V
w
(r) =
g
w
r
exp
−
r
R
w
,
where it is generally accepted that R
w
≈ 10
−16
cm. The dimensionless
constant characteristic of its strength is
g
2
w
/c = G
F
m
2
p
c/
3
≈ 10
−5
.
Gravitational interaction: For example the interaction potential be
tween two protons has the form
Gm
2
p
/r .
The dimensionless constant is
Gm
2
p
/c ≈ 6 10
−39
.
As the constants are dimensionless they can be used to compare the
interaction strengths directly. For example, the ratio of the strengths of
gravitational and electromagnetic forces between two protons is
Gm
2
p
/e
2
≈ 10
−36
.
Because of its much smaller strength, the gravitational force can usually be
neglected in particle physics. The characteristics of the four interactions
are listed in Table 3.1.
Table 3.1
Interaction Characteristic Strength Range of Typical cross Typical
constant interaction section lifetime
Strong
g
2
h
c
1 ∼ 10 10
−13
cm 10
−26
cm
2
10
−23
s
Electromagnetic
e
2
c
1
137
∞ 10
−29
cm
2
10
−16
s
Weak
g
2
ω
c
=
G
F
m
2
p
c
3
10
−5
10
−16
cm 10
−38
cm
2
10
−10
s
Gravitational
Gm
2
p
c
10
−39
∞
Particle Physics 405
Table 3.2
Quantity E J P Q B L
e
(L
µ
) I I
3
S P C T CP G
Strong Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Electromagnetic Y Y Y Y Y Y N Y Y Y Y Y Y N
Weak Y Y Y Y Y Y N N N N N N N N
(b) The conservation laws valid for strong, electromagnetic, and weak
interactions are listed in Table 3.2, where y =conserved, N =not conserved.
The quantities listed are all conserved in strong interaction. This agrees
well with experiment. For example nucleonnucleus and pionnucleus scat
tering cross sections calculated using isospin coupling method based on
strong forces agree well with observations.
In electromagnetic interaction I is not conserved, e.g. ∆I = 1 in elec
tromagnetic decay of Σ
0
(Σ
0
→Λ
0
+γ).
In weak interaction I, I
3
, S, P, C, T, PC are not conserved, e.g. 2π
decay of K
0
L
. The process K
0
L
→π
+
π
−
violates PC conservation. As PCT
is conserved, timereversal invariance is also violated. All these agree with
experiment.
3002
The electrostatic force between the earth and the moon can be ignored
(a) because it is much smaller than the gravitational force.
(b) because the bodies are electrically neutral.
(c) because of the tidal eﬀect.
(CCT)
Solution:
For electrostatic interaction the bodies should be electrically charged.
As the earth and the moon are both electrically neutral, they do not have
electrostatic interaction. Thus answer is (b).
3003
(a) Explain the meaning of the terms: boson, fermion, hadron, lep
ton, baryon,
406 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) Give one example of a particle for each of the above.
(c) Which of the above name is, and which is not, applicable to the
photon?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Fermion: All particles of halfinteger spins.
Boson: All particles of integer spins.
Hardron: Particles which are subject to strong interaction are called
hadrons.
Lepton: Particles which are not subject to strong interaction but to
weak interaction are called leptons.
Baryon: Hadrons of halfinteger spins are called baryons.
(b) Boson: π meson;
Fermion: proton;
Hardron: proton;
Lepton: neutrino;
Baryon: proton;
(c) The name boson is applicable to photon, but not the other names.
3004
Why does the proton have a parity while the muon does not? Because
(a) parity is not conserved in electromagnetism.
(b) the proton is better known.
(c) parity is deﬁned from reactions relative to each other. Therefore, it
is meaningful for the proton but not for the muon.
(CCT)
Solution:
The answer is (c).
3005
What is the Gparity operator and why was it introduced in particle
physics? What are the eigenvalues of the Goperator for pions of diﬀerent
charges, and for a state of n pions?
Particle Physics 407
What are the G values for ρ, ω, φ, and η mesons?
(Buﬀalo)
Solution:
The Goperator can be deﬁned as G = Ce
iπI
2
where I
2
is the second
component of isospin I, and C is the charge conjugation operator.
As the Coperator has eigenvalues only for the photon and neutral
mesons and their systems, it is useful to be able to extend the operation to
include charged particles as well. The Gparity is so deﬁned that charged
particles can also be eigenstates of Gparity. Since strong interaction is in
variant under both isospin rotation and charge conjugation, Gparity is con
served in strong interaction, which indicates a certain symmetry in strong
interaction. This can be used as a selection rule for certain charged systems.
For an isospin multiplet containing a neutral particle, the eigenvalue of
Goperator is
G = C(−1)
I
,
where C is the C eigenvalue of the neutral particle, I is the isospin. For
π meson, C(π
0
) = +1, I = 1, so G = −1; for a system of n πmesons,
G(nπ) = (−1)
n
. Similarly for
ρ : C(ρ
0
) = −1, I(ρ) = 1, G(ρ) = +1 ;
ω : C(ω
0
) = −1, I(ω
0
) = 0, G(ω) = −1 ;
φ : C(φ) = −1, I(φ) = 0, G(φ) = −1 ;
η
0
: C(η
0
) = +1, I(η
0
) = 0, C(η
0
) = +1 .
ρ, ω, φ decay by strong interaction. As Gparity is conserved in strong
interaction, their Gparities can also be deduced from the decays. Thus as
ρ
0
→π
+
π
−
, G(ρ) = (−1)
2
= 1 ;
ω →3π , G(ω) = (−1)
3
= −1 ;
φ →3π , G(φ) = (−1)
3
= −1 .
Note as η
0
decays by electromagnetic interaction, in which Gparity is
not conserved, its Gparity cannot be deduced from the decay.
408 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
3006
Following is a list of conservation laws (or symmetries) for interactions
between particles. For each indicate by S,E,W those classes of interactions
— strong, electromagnetic, weak — for which no violation of the symmetry
or conservation law has been observed. For any one of these conservation
laws, indicate an experiment which established a violation.
(a) Ispin conservation
(b) I
3
conservation
(c) strangeness conservation
(d) invariance under CP
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Ispin conservation — S.
(b) I
3
conservation — S, E.
(c) Strangeness conservation — S, E.
(d) CP invariance — S, E, and W generally. CP violation in weak
interaction is found only in K
L
decay. Isospin nonconservation can be
observed in the electromagnetic decay Σ
0
→ Λ
0
+ γ. I
3
nonconservation
can be observed in the weak decay π
−
→µ
−
+ ¯ ν
µ
.
Strangeness nonconservation is found in the weak decay of strange par
ticles. For example, in Λ
0
→π
−
+p, S = −1 for the initial state, S = 0 for
the ﬁnal state, and so ∆S = −1.
The only observed case of CP violation is the K
0
L
decay, in which the
3π and 2π decay modes have the ratio
η =
B(K
0
L
→π
+
π
−
)
B(K
0
L
→all charged particles)
≈ 2 10
−3
.
It shows that CP conservation is violated in K
0
L
decay, but only to a very
small extent.
3007
A state containing only one strange particle
(a) can decay into a state of zero strangeness.
Particle Physics 409
(b) can be created strongly from a state of zero strangeness.
(c) cannot exist.
(CCT)
Solution:
Strange particles are produced in strong interaction but decay in weak
interaction, and the strangeness number is conserved in strong interaction
but not in weak interaction. Hence the answer is (a).
3008
A particle and its antiparticle
(a) must have the same mass.
(b) must be diﬀerent from each other.
(c) can always annihilate into two photons.
(CCT)
Solution:
Symmetry requires that a particle and its antiparticle must have the
same mass. Hence the answer is (a).
3009
Discuss brieﬂy four of the following:
(1) J/ψ particle.
(2) Neutral K meson system, including regeneration of K
s
.
(3) The two types of neutrino.
(4) Neutron electric dipole moment.
(5) Associated production.
(6) Fermi theory of betadecay.
(7) Abnormal magnetic moment of the muon.
(Columbia)
Solution:
(1) J/ψ particle. In 1974, C. C. Ting, B. Richter and others, using
diﬀerent methods discovered a heavy meson of mass M = 3.1 GeV/c
2
. Its
410 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
lifetime was 3 ∼ 4 orders of magnitude larger than mesons of similar masses,
which makes it unique in particle physics. Named J/ψ particle, it was later
shown to be the bound state of a new kind of quark, called the charm quark,
and its antiquark. The J/ψ particle decays into charmless particles via the
OZI rule or into a lepton pair via electromagnetic interaction, and thus has
a long lifetime. Some of its quantum numbers are
m(J/ψ) = (3096.9 ±0.1) MeV/c
2
, Γ = (63 ±9)keV,
I
G
(J
P
)C = 0
−
(1
−
) − .
All of its decay channels have been fully studied. J/ψ particle and other
charmed mesons and baryons make up the family of charmed particles,
which adds signiﬁcantly to the content of particle physics.
(2) Neutral K mesons Detailed discussions are given in Problems
3056–3058.
(3) Two kinds of neutrino. Experiments have shown that there are
two types of neutrino: one (ν
e
) is associated with electron (as in βdecay),
the other (ν
µ
) with muon (as in π → µ decay). Also a neutrino and its
antineutrino are diﬀerent particles.
The scattering of high energy neutrinos can lead to the following
reactions:
ν
e
+n →p +e
−
, ¯ ν
e
+p →n +e
+
,
ν
µ
+n →p +µ
−
, ¯ ν
µ
+p →n +µ
+
.
Suppose a neutrino beam from a certain source is scattered and it contains
ν
µ
(¯ ν
µ
). If ν
e
(¯ ν
e
) and ν
µ
(¯ ν
µ
) are the same, approximately the same num
bers of e
∓
and µ
∓
should be observed experimentally. If they are not the
same, the reactions producing e
∓
are forbidden and no electrons should be
observed. An experiment carried out in 1962 used a proton beam of energy
> 20 GeV to bombard a target of protons to produce energetic pions and
kaons. Most of the secondary particles were emitted in a cone of very small
opening angle and decayed with neutrinos among the ﬁnal products. A
massive shielding block was used which absorbed all the particles except
the neutrinos. The resulting neutrino beam (98–99% ν
µ
, 1–2% ν
e
) was
used to bombard protons to produce muons or electrons. Experimentally,
51 muon events, but not one conﬁrmed electron event, were observed. This
proved that ν
e
(¯ ν
e
) and ν
µ
(¯ ν
µ
) are diﬀerent particles.
Particle Physics 411
That ν and ¯ ν are diﬀerent can be proved by measuring the reaction
cross section for neutrinos in
37
Cl. Consider the electron capture process
37
Ar +e
−
→
37
Cl +ν .
The reverse process can also occur:
ν +
37
Cl →
37
Ar +e
−
.
If ¯ ν and ν are the same, so can the process below:
¯ ν
e
+
37
Cl →
37
Ar +e
−
.
In an experiment by R. Davis and coworkers, 4000 liters of CCl
4
were
placed next to a nuclear reactor, where ¯ ν were generated. Absorption of the
antineutrinos by
37
Cl produced
37
Ar gas, which was separated from CCl
4
and whose rate of Kcapture radioactivity was measured. The measured
cross section was far less than the theoretical value σ ≈ 10
−43
cm
2
expected
if ν
e
and ¯ ν
e
were the same. This showed that ¯ ν is diﬀerent from ν.
(4) Electric dipole moment of neutron
Measurement of the electric dipole moment of the neutron had been of
considerable interest for a long time as it oﬀered a means of directly exam
ining time reversal invariance. One method for this purpose is described in
Fig. 3.1, which makes use of nuclear magnetic resonance and electrostatic
Fig. 3.1
412 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
deﬂection. It gave P
n
= eD, where D = (−1 ± 4) 10
−21
cm is the
eﬀective length of the dipole moment and e is the electron charge. Later,
an experiment with cold neutrons gave D = (0.4 ± 1.1) 10
−24
cm. This
means that, within the experimental errors, no electric dipole moment was
observed for the neutron.
(5) Associated production
Many new particles were discovered in cosmic rays around 1950 in two
main categories — mesons and baryons. One peculiar characteristics of
these particles was that they were produced in strong interaction (interac
tion time ∼ 10
−23
s) but decayed in weak interaction (τ ∼ 10
−10
∼ 10
−8
s).
Also, they were usually produced in pairs. This latter phenomenon is called
associated production and the particles are called strange particles. To ac
count for the “strange” behavior a new additive quantum number called
strangeness was assigned to all hadrons and the photon. The strangeness
number S is zero for γ and the “ordinary” particles and is a small, posi
tive or negative, integer for the strange particles K, Λ, Σ etc. A particle
and its antiparticle have opposite strangeness numbers. S is conserved for
strong and electromagnetic interactions but not for weak interaction. Thus
in production by strong interaction from ordinary particles, two or more
strange particles must be produced together to conserve S. This accounts
for the associated production. In the decay of a strange particle into ordi
nary particles it must proceed by weak interaction as S is not conserved.
The basic reason for the strange behavior of these particles is that they
contain strange quarks or antiquarks.
(6) The Fermi theory of βdecay
Fermi put forward a theory of βdecay in 1934, which is analogous to
the theory of electromagnetic transition. The basic idea is that just as γ
ray is emitted from an atom or nucleus in an electromagnetic transition,
an electron and a neutrino are produced in the decay process. Then the
energy spectrum of emitted electrons can be derived in a simple way to be
¸
dI(p
e
)
p
2
e
Fdp
e
1/2
= C[M
ij
[
2
(E
0
−E
e
) ,
where dI(p
e
) is the probability of emitting an electron of momentum be
tween p
e
and p
e
+ dp
e
, E
e
is the kinetic energy corresponding to p
e
, E
0
is
the maximum kinetic energy of the electrons, C is a constant, M
ij
is the
matrix element for weak interaction transition, F(Z, E
e
) is a factor which
Particle Physics 413
takes account of the eﬀect of the Coulomb ﬁeld of the nucleus on the emis
sion of the electron. The theory, which explains well the phenomenon of
βdecay, had been used for weak interaction processes until nonconserva
tion of parity in weak interaction was discovered, when it was replaced by
a revised version still close to the original form. Thus the Fermi theory
may be considered the fundamental theory for describing weak interaction
processes.
(7) Abnormal magnetic moment of muon
According to Dirac’s theory, a singlycharged exact Dirac particle of
spin J and mass m has a magnetic moment given by
µ =
J
me
= g
J
2mc
,
where g = −2 for muon. However muon is not an exact Dirac particle, nor
its gfactor exactly −2. It is said to have an abnormal magnetic moment,
whose value can be calculated using quantum electrodynamics (QED) in
accordance with the Feynman diagrams shown in Fig. 3.2. Let α =
g−2
2
.
QED gives
α
th
µ
= α/(2π) + 0.76578(α/π)
2
+ 2.55(α/π)
3
+
= (116592.1 ±1.0) 10
−8
,
in excellent agreement with the experimental value
α
exp
µ
= (116592.2 ±0.9) 10
−8
.
This has been hailed as the most brilliant achievement of QED.
Fig. 3.2
414 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
3010
The lifetime of the muon is 10
9
, 10
2
, 10
−2
, 10
−6
second.
(Columbia)
Solution:
10
−6
s (more precisely τ
µ
= 2.2 10
−6
s).
3011
List all of the known leptons. How does µ
+
decay? Considering this
decay and the fact that ν
µ
+ n →e
−
+ p is found to be forbidden, discuss
possible lepton quantum number assignments that satisfy additive quantum
number conservation laws. How could ν
µ
produce a new charged “heavy
lepton”?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
Up to now 10 kinds of leptons have been found. These are e
−
, ν
e
, µ
−
,
ν
µ
, τ
−
and their antiparticles e
+
, ¯ ν
e
, µ
+
, ¯ ν
µ
, τ
+
. ν
τ
and ¯ ν
τ
have been
predicted theoretically, but not yet directly observed.
µ
+
decays according to µ
+
→e
+
+ν
e
+ ¯ ν
µ
. It follows that ¯ ν
e
+µ
+
→
e
+
+¯ ν
µ
. On the other hand the reaction ν
µ
+n →e
−
+p is forbidden. From
these two reactions we see that for allowed reactions involving leptons, if
there is a lepton in the initial state there must be a corresponding lepton
in the ﬁnal state. Accordingly we can deﬁne an electron lepton number L
e
and a muon lepton number L
µ
such that
L
e
= 1 for e
−
, ν
e
,
L
µ
= 1 for µ
−
, ν
µ
,
with the lepton numbers of the antiparticles having the opposite sign, and
introduce an additional conservation rule that the electron lepton number
and the µ lepton number be separately conserved in a reaction.
It follows from a similar rule that to produce a charged heavy lepton,
the reaction must conserve the corresponding lepton number. Then a new
charged “ heavy lepton” A
+
can be produced in a reaction
ν
µ
+n →A
+
+ν
A
+µ
−
+X ,
Particle Physics 415
where ν
A
is the neutrino corresponding to A
+
, X is a baryon. For example,
A
+
= τ
+
, ν
A
= ν
τ
.
3012
Give a nontrivial (rate greater than 5%) decay mode for each particle
in the following list. If you include neutrinos in the ﬁnal state, be sure to
specify their type.
n →, π
+
→, ρ
0
→, K
0
→, Λ
0
→, ∆
++
→, µ
−
→, φ →, Ω
−
→, J/Ψ → .
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
n → pe
−
¯ ν
e
; π
+
→ µ
+
ν
µ
; ρ
0
→ π
+
π
−
; K
0
→ π
+
π
−
, π
0
π
0
, π
0
π
0
π
0
,
π
+
π
−
π
0
, π
±
µ
∓
ν
µ
, π
0
µ
±
e
∓
ν
e
; Λ
0
→ pπ
−
, nπ
0
; ∆
++
→ pπ
+
; µ
−
→
e
−
¯ ν
e
ν
µ
; φ →K
+
K
−
, K
0
L
K
0
S
, π
+
π
−
π
0
; Ω
−
→ΛK
−
, Ξ
0
π
−
, Ξ
−
π
0
; J/ψ →
e
+
e
−
, µ
+
µ
−
, hadrons.
3013
Consider the following highenergy reactions or particle decays:
(1) π
−
+p →π
0
+n
(2) π
0
→γ +γ +γ
(3) π
0
→γ +γ
(4) π
+
→µ
+
+ν
µ
(5) π
+
→µ
+
+ ¯ ν
µ
(6) p + ¯ p →Λ
0
+ Λ
0
(7) p + ¯ p →γ.
Indicate for each case:
(a) allowed or forbidden,
(b) reason if forbidden,
(c) type of interaction if allowed (i.e., strong, weak, electromagnetic,
etc.)
(Wisconsin)
416 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
(1) π
−
+p →π
0
+n: All quantum numbers conserved, allowed by strong
interaction.
(2) π
0
→ γ + γ + γ : C(π
0
) = +1, C(3γ) = (−1)
3
= C(π
0
), forbidden
as Cparity is not conserved.
(3) π
0
→γ +γ: electromagnetic decay allowed.
(4) π
+
→µ
+
+ν
µ
: weak decay allowed.
(5) π
+
→ µ
+
+ ¯ ν
µ
: lefthand side L
µ
= 0, righthand side L
µ
= −2,
forbidden as µlepton number is not conserved.
(6)
p+ ¯ p → Λ
0
+ Λ
0
B 1 −1 1 1 ∆B = +2
S 0 0 −1 −1 ∆S = −2
it is forbidden as baryon number is not conserved.
(7) p + ¯ p → γ is forbidden, for the angular momentum and parity
cannot both be conserved. Also the momentum and energy cannot both be
conserved, for
W
2
(p, ¯ p) = (E
p
+E
¯ p
)
2
−(p
p
+p
¯ p
)
2
= m
2
p
+m
2
¯ p
+2(E
p
E
¯ p
−p
p
p
¯ p
) ≥
2m
2
p
> 0, as E
2
= p
2
+ m
2
, E
p
E
¯ p
≥ p
p
p
¯ p
≥ p
p
p
¯ p
, W
2
(γ) = E
2
γ
− p
2
γ
=
E
2
γ
−E
2
γ
= 0, and so W(p, ¯ p) = W
2
(γ).
3014
For each of the following decays state a conservation law that forbids it:
n →p +e
−
n →π
+
+e
−
n →p +π
−
n →p +γ
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
n → p + e
−
: conservation of angular momentum and conservation of
lepton number are both violated.
Particle Physics 417
n →π
+
+ e
−
: conservation of baryon number and conservation lepton
number are both violated.
n →p +π
−
: conservation of energy is violated.
n →p +γ: conservation of electric charge is violated.
3015
What conservation laws, invariance principles, or other mechanisms ac
count for the suppressing or forbidding of the following processes?
(1) p +n →p + Λ
0
(2) K
+
→π
+
+π
−
+π
+
+π
−
+π
+
+ π
0
(3)
¯
K
0
→π
−
+e
+
+ν
e
(4) Λ
0
→K
0
+π
0
(5) π
+
→e
+
+ν
e
(relative to π
+
→µ
+
+ν
µ
)
(6) K
0
L
→e
+
+e
−
(7) K
−
→π
0
+e
−
(8) π
0
→γ +γ +γ
(9) K
0
L
→π
+
+π
−
(10) K
+
→π
+
+π
+
+ π
0
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(1) Conservation of strangeness number and conservation of isospin are
violated.
(2) Conservation of energy is violated.
(3) ∆S = 1, ∆Q = 0, the rule that if [∆S[ = 1 in weak interaction, ∆S
must be equals to ∆Q is violated
(4) Conservation of baryon number is violated.
(5) The process go through weak interaction and the ratio of rates is
(Problem 3040)
Γ(π
+
→e
+
+ν
e
)
Γ(π
+
→µ
+
+ν
µ
)
=
m
e
m
µ
2
m
2
π
−m
2
e
m
2
π
−m
2
µ
2
= 1.2 10
−4
.
Hence the π →eν mode is quite negligible.
(6) ∆S = −1, ∆Q = 0, same reason as for (3).
(7) Conservation of lepton number is violated.
418 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(8) Conservation of Cparity is violated.
(9) CP parity conservation is violated.
(10) Conservation of electric charge is violated.
3016
Which of the following reactions violate a conservation law?
Where there is a violation, state the law that is violated.
µ
+
→e
+
+γ
e
−
→ν
e
+γ
p +p →p + Σ
+
+K
−
p →e
+
+ν
e
p →e
+
+n +ν
e
n →p +e
−
+ ¯ ν
e
π
+
→µ
+
+ν
µ
(Buﬀalo)
Solution:
µ
+
→e
+
+γ is forbidden because it violates the conservation of lepton
number, which must hold for any interaction.
e
−
→ν
e
+γ, p +p →p +Σ
+
+K
−
are forbidden because they violate
electric charge conservation.
p →e
+
+ν
e
is forbidden because it violates baryon number conservation.
p →e
+
+n +ν
e
is forbidden because it violates energy conservation.
n →p +e
−
+ ¯ ν
e
, π
+
→µ
+
+ν
µ
are allowed.
3017
(a) Explain why the following reactions are not observed, even if the
kinetic energy of the ﬁrst proton is several BeV:
(1) p +p →K
+
+ Σ
+
(2) p +n →Λ
0
+ Σ
+
(3) p +n →Ξ
0
+p
(4) p +n →Ξ
−
+K
+
+ Σ
+
(b) Explain why the following decay processes are not observed:
(1) Ξ
0
→Σ
0
+ Λ
0
(2) Σ
+
→Λ
0
+K
+
Particle Physics 419
(3) Ξ
−
→n +π
−
(4) Λ
0
→K
+
+K
−
(5) Ξ
0
→p +π
−
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The reactions involve only strongly interacting particles and should
obey all the conservation laws. If some are violated then the process is for
bidden and not observed. Some of the relevant data and quantum numbers
are given in Table 3.3.
(1) p + p → K
+
+ Σ
+
, the baryon number, the isospin and its third
component are not conserved.
(2) p +n →Λ
0
+Σ
+
, the strangeness number (∆S = −2) and the third
component of isospin are not conserved.
(3) p +n →Ξ
0
+p, for the same reasons as for (2).
(4) p +n →Ξ
−
+K
+
+ Σ
+
, for the same reasons as for (2).
(b) All the decays are nonleptonic weak decays of strange particles,
where the change of strangeness number S, isospin I and its third compo
nent I
3
should obey the rules [∆S[ = 1, [∆I
3
[ = 1/2, [∆I[ = 1/2.
(1) Ξ
0
→Σ
0
+Λ
0
, the energy and the baryon number are not conserved.
(2) Σ
+
→Λ
0
+K
+
, the energy is not conserved.
(3) Ξ
−
→n +π
−
, [∆S[ = 2 > 1, [∆I
3
[ = 1 > 1/2.
(4) Λ
0
→K
+
+K
−
, the baryon number is not conserved.
(5) Ξ
0
→p +π
−
, [∆S[ = 2 > 1, [∆I
3
[ = 1 > 1/2.
Table 3.3
Particle Lifetime(s) Mass(MeV/c
2
) Spin J Strangeness number S Isospin I
π
±
2.55 ×10
−8
139.58 0 0 1
K 1.23 ×10
−8
493.98 0 ±1 1/2
p stable 938.21 1/2 0 1/2
n 1.0 ×10
3
939.51 1/2 0 1/2
Λ
0
2.52 ×10
−10
1115.5 1/2 −1 0
Σ
+
0.81 ×10
−10
1189.5 1/2 −1 1
Σ
0
< 10
−14
1192.2 1/2 −1 1
Ξ
−
1.7 ×10
−10
1321 1/2 −2 1/2
Ξ
0
2.9 ×10
−10
1315 1/2 −2 1/2
420 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
3018
Listed below are a number of decay processes.
(a) Which do not occur in nature? For each of these specify the conser
vation law which forbids its occurrence.
(b) Order the remaining decays in order of increasing lifetime. For
each case name the interaction responsible for the decay and give an order
ofmagnitude estimate of the lifetime. Give a brief explanation for your
answer.
p →e
+
+π
0
Ω
−
→Ξ
0
+K
−
ρ
0
→π
+
+π
−
π
0
→γ +γ
D
0
→K
−
+π
+
Ξ
−
→Λ
0
+π
−
µ
−
→e
−
+ ¯ ν
e
+ν
µ
Table 3.4
particle mass (MeV/c
2
) J B L I S G
γ 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
ν
e
0 1/2 0 1 0 0 0
ν
µ
0 1/2 0 1 0 0 0
e
−
0.5 1/2 0 1 0 0 0
µ
−
106 1/2 0 1 0 0 0
π
0
135 0 0 0 1 0 0
κ
−
494 0 0 0 1/2 −1 0
ρ
0
770 1 0 0 1 0 0
p 938 1/2 1 0 1/2 0 0
Λ
0
1116 1/2 1 0 0 −1 0
Ξ
−
1321 1/2 1 0 1/2 −2 0
Ω
−
1672 3/2 1 0 0 −3 0
D
0
1865 0 0 0 1/2 0 1
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) p →e
+
+π
0
, forbidden as the lepton number and the baryon number
are not conserved.
Particle Physics 421
Ω
−
→Ξ
0
+K
−
, forbidden because the energy is not conserved as m
Ω
<
(m
Ξ
+m
K
).
(b) The allowed decays are arranged below in increasing order of life
time:
ρ
0
→π
+
+π
−
, lifetime ≈ 10
−24
s, strong decay,
π
0
→γ +γ, lifetime ≈ 10
−16
s, electromagnetic decay,
D
0
→K
−
+π
+
, lifetime ≈ 10
−13
s, weak decay,
Ξ
−
→Λ
0
+π
−
, lifetime ≈ 10
−10
s, weak decay,
µ
−
→e
−
+ ¯ ν
e
+ν
µ
, lifetime ≈ 10
−6
s, weak decay.
The ﬁrst two decays are typical of strong and electromagnetic decays,
the third and fourth are weak decays in which the strangeness number
and the charm number are changed, while the last is the weak decay of a
nonstrange particle.
3019
An experiment is performed to search for evidence of the reaction pp →
HK
+
K
+
.
(a) What are the values of electric charge, strangeness and baryon num
ber of the particle H? How many quarks must H contain?
(b) A theoretical calculation for the mass of this state H yields a pre
dicted value of m
H
= 2150 MeV.
What is the minimum value of incidentbeam proton momentum neces
sary to produce this state? (Assume that the target protons are at rest)
(c) If the mass prediction is correct, what can you say about the possible
decay modes of H? Consider both strong and weak decays.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) As K
+
has S = 1, B = 0, H is expected to have electric charge
Q = 0, strangeness number S = −2, baryon number B = 2. To satisfy
these requirements, H must contain at least six quarks (uu dd ss).
(b) At minimum incident energy, the particles are produced at rest in
the centerofmass frame. As (ΣE)
2
−(Σp)
2
is invariant, we have
(E
0
+m
p
)
2
−p
2
0
= (m
H
+ 2m
K
)
2
,
422 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
giving
E
0
=
(m
H
+ 2m
K
)
2
−2m
2
p
2m
p
=
(2.15 + 2 0.494)
2
−2 0.938
2
2 0.938
= 4.311 GeV,
and hence the minimum incident momentum
p
0
=
E
2
0
−m
2
p
= 4.208 GeV/e .
(c) As for strong decays, ∆S = 0, ∆B = 0, the possible channels are
H →Λ
0
Λ
0
, Λ
0
Σ
0
, Ξ
−
p, Ξ
0
n.
However they all violate the conservation of energy and are forbidden.
Consider possible weak decays. The possible decays are nonleptonic decays
H →Λ +n, Σ
0
+n, Σ
−
+ p, and semileptonic decays
H →Λ +p +e
−
+ ¯ ν, Σ
0
+p +e
−
+ ¯ ν .
3020
Having 4.5 GeV free energy, what is the most massive isotope one could
theoretically produce from nothing?
(a)
2
D.
(b)
3
He.
(c)
3
T.
(CCT)
Solution:
With a free energy of 4.5 GeV, one could create baryons with energy
below 2.25 GeV (To conserve baryon number, the same number of baryons
and antibaryons must be produced together. Thus only half the energy
is available for baryon creation). Of the three particles only
2
D has rest
energy below this. Hence the answer is (a).
3021
(i) The decay K →πγ is absolutely forbidden by a certain conservation
law, which is believed to hold exactly. Which conservation law is this?
Particle Physics 423
(ii) There are no known mesons of electric charge two. Can you give a
simple explanation of this?
(iii) Explain how the parity of pion can be measured by observation of
the polarizations of the photons in π
0
→γγ.
(iv) To a very high accuracy, the cross section for e
−
p scattering equals
the cross section for e
+
p scattering. Is this equality a consequence of a
conservation law? If so, which one? If not, explain the observed equality.
To what extent (if any at all) do you expect this equality to be violated?
(v) It has recently been observed that in inclusive Λ production
(Fig. 3.3), for example πp →Λ+anything, the Λ is produced with a surpis
ingly high polarization. Do you believe this polarization is
(a) along (or opposite to) the direction of the incident beam,
(b) along (or opposite to) the direction of motion of the outgoing Λ, or
(c) perpendicular to both?
Fig. 3.3
(Princeton)
Solution:
(i) The decay is forbidden by the conservation of strangeness number,
which holds exactly in electromagnetic interaction.
(ii) According to the prevailing theory, a meson consists of a quark and
an antiquark. The absolute value of a quark’s charge is not more than 2/3.
So it is impossible for the charge of a meson consisting of two quarks to be
equal to 2.
(iii) Let the wave vectors of the two photons be k
1
, k
2
, the directions of
the polarization of their electric ﬁelds be e
1
, e
2
, and let k = k
1
−k
2
. Since
the spin of π
0
is 0, the possible forms of the decay amplitude are Ae
1
e
2
and
Bk (e
1
e
2
), which, under space inversion, respectively does not and does
change sign. Thus the former form has even parity, and the latter, odd
parity. These two cases stand for the two diﬀerent relative polarizations
424 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
of the photons. The former describes mainly parallel polarizations, while
the latter describes mainly perpendicular polarizations between the two
photons. It is diﬃcult to measure the polarization of high energy photons
(E ∼ 70 MeV) directly. But in π
0
decays, in a fraction α
2
of the cases the
two photons convert directly to two electronpositron pairs. In such cases
the relative polarization of the photons can be determined by measuring
the angle between the two electronpositron pairs. The experimental results
tend to favor the perpendicular polarization. Since parity is conserved in
electromagnetic interaction, the parity of π
0
is odd.
(iv) No. To ﬁrst order accuracy, the probability of electromagnetic in
teraction is not related to the sign of the charge of the incident particle.
Only when higher order corrections are considered will the eﬀect of the
sign of the charge come in. As the strength of each higher order of electro
magnetic interaction decreases by a factor α
2
, this equality is violated by
a fraction α
2
≈ 5.3 10
−5
.
(v) The polarization σ of Λ is perpendicular to the plane of interaction.
As parity is conserved in strong interaction, σ is perpendicular to the plane
of production, i.e.,
σ ∝ p
π
p
Λ
3022
Recently a stir was caused by the reported discovery of the decay µ
+
→
e
+
+γ at a branching ratio of ∼ 10
−9
.
(a) What general principle is believed to be responsible for the suppres
sion of this decay?
(b) The apparatus consists of a stopping µ
+
beam and two NaI crystals,
which respond to the total energy of the positrons or gamma rays. How
would you arrange the crystals relative to the stopping target and beam,
and what signal in the crystals would indicate that an event is such a µ
decay?
(c) The background events are the decays µ
+
→e
+
+ν
e
+ ¯ ν
µ
+ γ with
the neutrinos undetected. Describe qualitatively how one would distinguish
events of this type from the µ
+
→e
+
+γ events of interest.
(Wisconsin)
Particle Physics 425
Solution:
(a) This decay is suppressed by the separate conservation of electron
lepton number and µlepton number,
(b) µ
+
→ e
+
+ γ is a twobody decay. When the muon decays at rest
into e
+
and γ, we have E
e
≈ E
γ
=
m
µ
c
2
2
. As e
+
and γ are emitted in
opposite directions the two crystals should be placed face to face. Also, to
minimize the eﬀect of any directly incident mesons they should be placed
perpendicular to the µ beam (see Fig. 3.4). The coincidence of e
+
and
γ signals gives the µ decay events, including the background events given
in (c).
(c) µ
+
→ e
+
+ γ is a twobody decay and µ
+
→ e
+
+ ν
e
+ ¯ ν
µ
+ γ
is a fourbody decay. In the former e
+
and γ are monoenergetic, while
in the latter e
+
and γ have continuous energies up to a maximum. We
can separate them by the amplitudes of the signals from the two crystals.
For µ
+
→ e
+
+ γ, (E
e
+ E
γ
) = m
µ
, while for µ
+
→ e
+
+ ν
e
+ ¯ ν
µ
+ γ,
(E
e
+E
γ
) < m
µ
.
Fig. 3.4
3023
Describe the properties of the various types of pion and discuss in detail
the experiments which have been carried out to determine their spin, parity,
and isospin.
(Buﬀalo)
426 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
There are three kinds of pion: π
0
, π
+
π
−
, with π
+
being the antiparticle
of π
−
and π
0
its own antiparticle, forming an isospin triplet of I = 1. Their
main properties are listed in Table 3.5.
Table 3.5
Particle Mass(MeV) Spin Parity CParity Isospin I
3
G
π
+
139.6 0 − 1 1 −1
π
0
135 0 − + 1 0 −1
π
−
139.6 0 − 1 −1 −1
To determine the spin of π
+
, we apply the principle of detailed balance
to the reversible reaction π
+
+d p +p, where the forward reaction and
its inverse have the same transition matrix element. Thus
dσ
dΩ
(pp →dπ
+
) =
dσ
dΩ
(dπ
+
→pp) 2
p
2
π
(2J
π
+ 1)(2J
d
+ 1)
p
2
p
(2J
p
+ 1)
2
,
where p
π
, p
p
are the momenta of π and p, respectively, in the centerofmass
frame. Experimental cross sections give 2J
π
+ 1 = 1.00 ±0.01, or J
π
= 0.
The spin of π
−
can be determined directly from the hyperﬁne struc
ture of the πmesic atom spectrum. Also the symmetry of particle and
antiparticle requires π
+
and π
−
to have the same spin. So the spin of π
−
is also 0.
The spin of π
0
can be determined by studying the decay π
0
→2γ. First
we shall see that a particle of spin 1 cannot decay into 2 γ’s. Consider the
decay in the centerofmass frame of the 2 γ’s, letting their momenta be k
and −k, their polarization vectors be ε
1
and ε
2
respectively. Because the
spin of the initial state is 1, the ﬁnal state must have a vector form. As a
real photon has only transverse polarization, only the following vectors can
be constructed from k, ε
1
, ε
2
:
ε
1
ε
2
, (ε
1
ε
2
)k, (ε ε
2
k)k.
All the three vector forms change sign when the 2 γ’s are exchanged. How
ever the 2γ system is a system of two bosons which is exchangesymmetric
and so none of three forms can be the wave function of the system. Hence
Particle Physics 427
the spin of π
0
cannot be 1. On the other hand, consider the reaction
π
−
+ p → π
0
+ n using low energy (swave) π
−
. The reaction is forbid
den for J
π
0 ≥ 2. Experimentally, the cross section for the chargeexchange
reaction is very large. The above proves that J
π
0 = 0.
The parity of π
−
can be determined from the reaction π
−
+d →n+n,
employing low energy (swave) π
−
. It is well known that J
P
d
= 1
+
, so
P(π
−
) = P
2
(n)(−1)
l
, l being the orbital angular momentum of the relative
motion of the two neutrons. Since an n–n system is a Fermion system and
so is exchange antisymmetric, l = 1, J = 1, giving P(π
−
) = −1.
The parity of π
+
can be determined by studying the cross section for
the reaction π
+
+ d → p + p as a function of energy of the incident low
energy (swave) π
+
. This gives P(π
+
) = −1.
The parity of π
0
can be determined by measuring the polarization of
the decay π
0
→ 2γ. As J(π
0
) = 0, and the 2γ system in the ﬁnal state is
exchange symmetric, possible forms of the decay amplitude are
ε
1
ε
2
, corresponding to P(π
0
) = +1 ,
k (ε
1
ε
2
), corresponding to P(π
0
) = −1 ,
where k is the momentum of a γ in the π
0
rest frame. The two forms respec
tively represent the case of dominantly parallel polarizations and the case
of dominantly perpendicular polarizations of the two photons. Consider
then the production of electronpositron pairs by the 2 γ’s:
π
0
→γ +γ
→e
+
+e
−
−→e
+
+e
−
An electronpositron pair is created in the plane of the electric vector of the
γ ray. As the experimental results show that the planes of the two pairs
are mainly perpendicular to each other, the parity of π
0
is −1.
The isospin of π can be deduced by studying strong interaction processes
such as
n +p →d +π
0
, p +p →d +π
+
.
Consider the latter reaction. The isospin of the initial state (p+p) is [1, 1`,
the isospin of the ﬁnal state is also [1, 1`. As isospin is conserved, the
428 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
transition to the ﬁnal state (d + π
+
) has a probability of 100%. Whereas,
in the former reaction, the isospin of the initial state is
1
√
2
([1, 0` − [0, 0`),
of which only the state [1, 0` can transit to the (d + π
0
) system of isospin
[1, 0`. Hence the probability for the transition from (n + p) to (d + π
0
) is
only 50%. In other words, if I(π) = 1, we would have
σ(pp →dπ
+
) = 2σ(pn →dπ
0
) .
As this agrees with experiment, I(π) = 1.
3024
The electrically neutral baryon Σ
0
(1915) (of mass 1915 MeV/c
2
) has
isospin I = 1, I
3
= 0. Call Γ
K
−
p
, Γ ¯
K
0
n
, Γ
π
−
p
, Γ
π
+
π
− respectively the
rates for the decays Σ
0
(1915) →K
−
p, Σ
0
(1915) →
¯
K
0
n, Σ
0
(1915) →π
−
p,
Σ
0
(1915) →π
+
π
−
. Find the ratios
Γ ¯
K
0
n
Γ
K
−
p
,
Γ
π
−
p
Γ
K
−
p
,
Γ
π
+
π
−
Γ
K
−
p
.
(The masses of the nucleons, K
−
, and π
−
mesons are such that all these
decays are kinetically possible. You can disregard the small mass splitting
within an isospin multiplet.)
(Chicago)
Solution:
n, p form an isospin doublet, π
+
, π
0
, π
−
form an isospin triplet, and
K
+
, K
0
form an isospin doublet. K
−
and
¯
K
0
, the antiparticles of K
+
and
K
0
respectively, also form an isospin doublet. Write the isospin state of
Σ
0
(1915) as [1, 0`, those of p and n as [1/2, 1/2` and [1/2, −1/2`, and those
of
¯
K
0
and K
−
as [1/2, 1/2` and [1/2, −1/2`, respectively. As
Ψ(
¯
K
0
n) =
1
2
,
1
2
1
2
, −
1
2
=
1
2
([1, 0` +[0, 0`) ,
Ψ(
¯
K
−
p) =
1
2
, −
1
2
1
2
,
1
2
=
1
2
([1, 0` −[0, 0`) ,
Particle Physics 429
Σ
0
(1915) →
¯
K
0
n and Σ
0
(1915) →K
−
p are both strong decays, the partial
widths are
Γ ¯
K
0
n
∝ ['Ψ(Σ
0
)[H[Ψ(
¯
K
0
n)`[
2
=
a
1
√
2
2
=
a
2
1
2
,
Γ
K
−
p
∝ ['Ψ(Σ
0
)[H[Ψ(K
−
p)`[
2
=
a
1
√
2
2
=
a
2
1
2
,
where a
1
= '1[H[1`. Note '1[H[0` = 0 and, as strong interaction is charge
independent, a
1
only depends on I but not on I
3
. Hence
Γ ¯
K
0
n
Γ
K
−
p
= 1 .
Σ
0
(1915) →pπ
−
is a weak decay (∆I
3
= −
1
2
= 0) and so
Γ
π
−
p
Γ
K
−
p
<1
(actually ∼ 10
−10
).
In the Σ
0
(1915) → π
+
π
−
mode baryon number is not conserved, and
so the reaction is forbidden. Thus
Γ
π
+
π
− = 0 ,
or
Γ
π
+
π
−
Γ
K
−
p
= 0 .
3025
Which of the following reactions are allowed? If forbidden, state the
reason.
(a) π
−
+p →K
−
+ Σ
+
(b) d +d →
4
He +π
0
(c) K
−
+p →Ξ
−
+K
+
What is the ratio of reaction cross sections σ(p+p →π
+
+d)/σ(n+p →
π
0
+d) at the same centerofmass energy?
(Chicago)
430 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
(a) Forbidden as ∆I
3
= (−1/2) + (+1) − (−1) − 1/2 = 1 = 0, ∆S =
(−1) + (−1) −0 −0 = −2 = 0.
(b) Forbidden as I(d) = I(
4
He) = 0, I(π
0
) = 1, ∆I = 1 = 0
(c) Allowed by strong interaction as Q, I, I
3
, and S are all conserved.
The diﬀerence in cross section between pp →π
+
d and np →π
0
d relates
to isospin only. Using the coupling presentation for isospins and noting the
orthogonality of the isospin wave functions, we have
[pp` =
1
2
,
1
2
1
2
,
1
2
= [1, 1` ,
[π
+
d` = [1, 1` [0, 0` = [1, 1` ,
[np` =
1
2
, −
1
2
1
2
,
1
2
=
1
√
2
[1, 0` −
1
√
2
[0, 0` ,
[π
0
d` = [1, 0` [0, 0` = [1, 0` .
Hence the matrix element of pp →π
+
d is
'π
+
d[
ˆ
H[pp` ∝ '1, 1[
ˆ
H[1, 1` = '1[
ˆ
H[1` = a
1
.
Similarly, the matrix element of np →π
0
d is
'π
0
d[
ˆ
H[np` ∝
1
√
2
'1, 0[
ˆ
H[1, 0` −
1
√
2
'1, 0[
ˆ
H[0, 0`
∝
1
√
2
'1, 0[
ˆ
H[1, 0` =
1
√
2
'1[
ˆ
H[1` =
a
1
√
2
,
as '1, 0[
ˆ
H[0, 0` = 0 and strong interaction is independent of I
3
. Therefore,
σ(pp →π
+
d)
σ(np →π
0
d)
=
['π
+
d[
ˆ
H[pp`[
2
['π
0
d[
ˆ
H[np`[
2
=
a
2
1
1
2
a
2
1
= 2 .
3026
Given two angular momenta J
1
and J
2
(for example L and S) and the
corresponding wave functions.
Particle Physics 431
(a) Compute the Clebsch–Gordan coeﬃcients for the states with J =
j
1
+j
2
, M = m
1
+m
2
, where j
1
= 1 and j
2
= 1/2, J = 3/2, M = 1/2, for
the various possible m
1
and m
2
values.
(b) Consider the reactions
(1) π
+
p →π
+
p,
(2) π
−
p →π
−
p,
(3) π
−
p →π
0
n.
These reactions, which conserve isospin, can occur in the isospin I = 3/2
state (∆ resonance) or I = 1/2 state (N
∗
resonance). Calculate the ratio
of these cross sections σ
1
: σ
2
: σ
3
for an energy corresponding to a ∆
resonance and to an N
∗
resonance . At a resonance energy you can neglect
the eﬀect due to the other isospin state. Note that the pion is an isospin
I
π
= 1 state and the nucleon an isospin I
n
= 1/2 state.
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
(a) First consider
3
2
,
3
2
= [1, 1`
1
2
,
1
2
.
Applying the operator
L
−
= J
x
−iJy = (j
1x
−ij
1y
) + (j
2x
−ij
2y
) ≡ L
(1)
−
+L
(2)
−
to the above:
L
−
3
2
,
3
2
= L
(1)
−
[1, 1`
1
2
,
1
2
+L
(2)
−
[1, 1`
1
2
,
1
2
,
as
L
−
[J, M` =
J(J + 1) −M(M −1)[J, M −1` ,
we have
√
3
3
2
,
1
2
=
√
2[1, 0`
1
2
,
1
2
+[1, 1`
1
2
, −
1
2
,
or
3
2
,
1
2
=
2
3
[1, 0`
1
2
,
1
2
+
1
3
[1, 1`
1
2
, −
1
2
.
432 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) We couple each initial pair in the isospin space:
[π
+
p` = [1, 1`
1
2
,
1
2
=
3
2
,
3
2
,
[π
−
p` = [1, −1`
1
2
,
1
2
=
2
3
1
2
, −
1
2
+
1
3
3
2
, −
1
2
,
[π
0
n` = [1, 0`
1
2
, −
1
2
=
2
3
3
2
, −
1
2
−
1
3
1
2
, −
1
2
.
Because of charge independence in strong interaction, we can write
3
2
, m
j
[
ˆ
H[
3
2
, m
i
= a
1
,
1
2
, m
j
[
ˆ
H[
1
2
, m
i
= a
2
,
independent of the value of m. Furthermore the orthogonality of the wave
functions requires
1
2
[
ˆ
H[
3
2
= 0 .
Hence the transition cross sections are
σ
1
(π
+
p →π
+
p) ∝
3
2
,
3
2
ˆ
H
3
2
,
3
2
2
= [a
1
[
2
,
σ
2
(π
−
p →π
−
p) ∝
2
3
1
2
, −
1
2
+
1
3
3
2
, −
1
2
ˆ
H
2
3
1
2
, −
1
2
+
1
3
3
2
, −
1
2
2
=
2
3
a
2
+
1
3
a
1
2
,
Particle Physics 433
σ
3
(π
−
p →π
0
n) ∝
2
3
1
2
, −
1
2
+
1
3
3
2
, −
1
2
ˆ
H
2
3
3
2
, −
1
2
−
1
3
1
2
, −
1
2
2
=
−
√
2
3
a
2
+
√
2
3
a
1
2
,
When ∆ resonance takes place, [a
1
[ [a
2
[, and the eﬀect of a
2
can be
neglected. Hence
σ
1
∝ [a
1
[
2
,
σ
2
∝
1
9
[a
1
[
2
,
σ
3
∝
2
9
[a
1
[
2
,
and σ
1
: σ
2
: σ
3
= 9 : 1 : 2.
When N
∗
resonance occurs, [a
1
[ <[a
2
[, and we have
σ
1
≈ 0 ,
σ
2
∝
4
9
[a
2
[
2
,
σ
3
∝
2
9
[a
2
[
2
,
σ
1
: σ
2
: σ
3
= 0 : 2 : 1 .
3027
Estimate the ratios of decay rates given below, stating clearly the selec
tion rules (“fundamental” or phenomenological) which are operating. Also
state whether each decay (regardless of the ratio) is strong, electromagnetic
or weak. If at all possible, express your answer in terms of the fundamental
constants G, α, θ
c
, m
K
, etc. Assume that the strong interactions have unit
strength (i.e. , unit dimensionless coupling constant).
434 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(a)
K
+
→π
+
π
0
K
0
s
→π
+
π
−
(b)
ρ
0
→π
0
π
0
ρ
0
→π
+
π
−
(c)
K
0
L
→µ
+
µ
−
K
0
L
→π
0
π
0
(d)
K
+
→π
+
π
+
e
−
ν
K
−
→π
+
π
−
e
−
ν
(e)
Ω
−
→Σ
−
π
0
Ω
−
→Ξ
0
π
−
(f)
η
0
→π
+
π
−
η
0
→π
+
π
−
π
0
(g)
Λ
0
→K
−
π
+
Λ
0
→pπ
−
(h)
θ
0
→π
+
π
−
π
0
ω
0
→π
+
π
−
π
0
(i)
Σ
−
→Λ
0
π
−
Σ
−
→nπ
−
(j)
π
−
→e
−
ν
K
+
→µ
+
ν
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Consider K
+
→ π
+
π
0
. For nonleptonic weak decays ∆I = 1/2.
As I(K) = 1/2, the isospin of the 2π system must be 0 or 1. The gen
eralized Pauli’s principle requires the total wave function of the 2π sys
tem to be symmetric. As the spin of K is 0, conservation of the total
angular momentum requires J(2π) = J(K) = 0. Then as the spin of
π is 0, l(2π) = 0. Thus the spatial and spin parts of the wave func
tion of the 2π system are both symmetric, so the isospin wave function
must also be symmetric. It follows that the isospin of the 2π system has
two possible values, 0 or 2. Hence I(π
+
π
0
) = 0. However, I
3
(π
+
π
0
) =
1 + 0 = 1. As the rule I
3
≤ I is violated, the decay is forbidden. On
the other hand, K
0
s
→ π
+
π
−
is allowed as it satisﬁes the rule ∆I = 1/2.
Particle Physics 435
Therefore,
K
+
→π
+
π
−
K
0
s
→π
+
π
−
<1 .
Note the ratio of the probability amplitudes for ∆I = 1/2, 3/2 in Kdecay,
A
0
and A
2
, can be deduced from
Γ(K
+
→π
+
π
0
)
Γ(K
0
s
→π
+
π
−
)
=
3
4
A
2
A
0
2
≈ 1.5 10
−3
,
giving
A
2
A
0
≈ 4.5%.
(b) Consider the decay modes ρ
0
→ π
+
π
−
, π
0
π
0
. ρ
0
→ π
+
π
−
is an
allowed strong decay, while for ρ
0
→π
0
π
0
, the Cparities are C(ρ
0
) = −1,
C(π
0
π
0
) = 1, and the decay is forbidden by conservation of Cparity. Hence
ρ
0
→π
0
π
0
ρ
0
→π
+
π
−
≈ 0 .
(c) As K
0
L
is not the eigenstate of CP, K
0
L
→ π
0
π
0
has a nonzero
branching ratio, which is approximately 9.4 10
−4
. The decay K
0
L
→
µ
+
µ
−
, being a second order weak decay, has a probability even less than
that of K
0
L
→ π
0
π
0
. It is actually a ﬂavorchanging neutral weak current
decay. Thus
1
K
0
L
→µ
+
µ
−
K
0
L
→π
0
π
0
≈ 0 .
Experimentally, the ratio ≈ 10
−8
/10
−3
= 10
−5
.
(d) K
+
→ π
+
π
+
e
−
¯ ν is a semileptonic weak decay and so ∆Q should
be equal to ∆S, where ∆Q is the change of hadronic charge. As ∆S = 1,
∆Q = −1, it is forbidden. But as K
−
→π
+
π
−
e
−
¯ ν is an allowed decay,
K
+
→π
+
π
+
e
−
¯ ν
K
−
→π
+
π
−
e
−
¯ ν
= 0 .
(e) In Ω
−
→ Σ
−
π
0
, ∆S = 2. Thus it is forbidden. As Ω
−
→ Ξ
0
π
−
is
allowed by weak interaction,
Ω
−
→Σ
−
π
0
Ω
−
→Ξ
0
π
−
= 0 .
(f) Consider η
0
→ π
+
π
−
. η
0
has J
P
= 0
−
and decays electromagneti
cally (Γ = 0.83 keV). As J
P
of π
±
is 0
−
, a π
+
π
−
systemcan only form states
436 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
0
+
, 1
−
, 2
+
. Since parity is conserved in electromagnetic decay, this decay
mode is forbidden. On the other hand, η
0
→π
+
π
−
π
0
is an electromagnetic
decay with all the required conservation rules holding. Hence
η
0
→π
+
π
−
η
0
→π
+
π
−
π
0
= 0 .
(g) Λ
0
→K
−
π
+
is a nonleptonic decay mode. As ∆I
3
= 1/2, ∆S = 0,
it is forbidden. Λ
0
→ pπ
−
is also a nonleptonic weak decay satisfying
[∆S[ = 1, [∆I[ = 1/2, [∆I
3
[ = 1/2 and is allowed. Hence
Λ
0
→K
−
π
+
Λ
0
→pπ
−
= 0 .
(h) Consider θ
0
→ π
+
π
−
π
0
. θ
0
has strong decays (Γ = 180 MeV) and
I
G
J
PC
= 0
+
2
++
. As G(π
+
π
−
π
0
) = (−1)
3
= −1, G(θ
0
) = +1, Gparity is
not conserved and the decay mode is forbidden. Consider ω
0
→ π
+
π
−
π
0
.
As I
G
J
PC
of ω
0
is 0
−
1
−−
, it is allowed. Hence
θ
0
→π
+
π
−
π
0
ω
0
→π
+
π
−
π
0
= 0 .
(i) Consider Σ
−
→Λ
0
π
−
. As ∆S = 0, it is forbidden. Σ
−
→nπ
−
is an
allowed nonleptonic weak decay. Hence
Σ
−
→Λ
0
π
−
Σ
−
→nπ
−
= 0 .
(j) π
−
→e
−
¯ ν and K
+
→µ
+
ν are both semileptonic twobody decays.
For the former, ∆S = 0 and the coupling constant is Gcos θ
c
, for the latter
∆S = 1 and the coupling constant is Gsinθ
c
, where θ
c
is the Cabbibo
angle. By coupling of axial vectors we have
ω
(ϕ →lν) =
f
2
ϕ
m
2
l
(m
2
ϕ
−m
2
l
)
2
4πm
3
ϕ
,
where f
ϕ
is the coupling constant. Hence
π
−
→e
−
¯ ν
K
+
→µ
+
ν
=
f
2
π
m
2
e
(m
2
π
−m
2
e
)
2
m
3
K
f
2
K
m
2
µ
(m
2
K
−m
2
µ
)
2
m
3
π
=
m
3
K
m
2
e
(m
2
π
−m
2
e
)
2
m
3
π
m
2
µ
(m
2
K
−m
2
µ
)
2
cot
2
θ
c
= 1.35 10
−4
,
using θ
c
= 13.1
0
as deduced from experiment.
Particle Physics 437
3028
The Σ
∗
is an unstable hyperon with mass m = 1385 MeV and decay
width Γ = 35 MeV, with a branching ratio into the channel Σ
∗+
→ π
+
Λ
of 88%. It is produced in the reaction K
−
p → π
−
Σ
∗+
, but the reaction
K
+
p →π
+
Σ
∗+
does not occur.
(a) What is the strangeness of the Σ
∗
? Explain on the basis of the
reactions given.
(b) Is the decay of the Σ
∗
strong or weak? Explain.
(c) What is the isospin of the Σ
∗
? Explain using the information above.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) As Σ
∗+
is produced in the strong interaction K
−
p →πΣ
∗+
, which
conserves strangeness number, the strangeness number of Σ
∗+
is equal to
that of K
−
, namely, −1. As S(K
+
) = +1, the reaction K
+
p → π
+
Σ
∗+
violates the conservation of strangeness number and is forbidden.
(b) The partial width of the decay Σ
∗+
→Λπ
+
is
Γ
Λπ
= 88%35 = 30.8 MeV,
corresponding to a lifetime
τ
Λπ
≈
Γ
Λπ
=
6.62 10
−22
30.8
= 2.15 10
−23
s .
As its order of magnitude is typical of the strong interaction time, the
decay is a strong decay.
(c) Isospin is conserved in strong interaction. The strong decay Σ
∗+
→
Λπ
+
shows that, as I(Λ) = I
3
(Λ) = 0,
I(Σ
∗
) = I(π) = 1 .
3029
A particle X has two decay modes with partial decay rates γ
1
(sec
−1
)
and γ
2
(sec
−1
).
(a) What is the inherent uncertainty in the mass of X?
438 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) One of the decay modes of X is the strong interaction decay
X →π
+
+π
+
.
What can you conclude about the isotopic spin of X?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) The total decay rate of particle X is
λ = γ
1
+γ
2
.
So the mean lifetime of the particle is
τ =
1
λ
=
1
γ
1
+γ
2
.
The inherent uncertainty in the mass of the particle, Γ, is given by the
uncertainty principle Γτ ∼ . Hence
Γ ∼
τ
= (γ
1
+γ
2
) .
(b) As X →π
+
π
+
is a strong decay, isospin is conserved. π
+
has I = 1
and I
3
= +1. Thus ﬁnal state has I = 2 and so the isospin of X is 2.
3030
Suppose that π
−
has spin 0 and negative intrinsic parity. If it is captured
by a deuterium nucleus from a p orbit in the reaction
π
−
+d →n +n,
show that the two neutrons must be in a singlet state. The deuteron’s
spinparity is 1
+
.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
The parity of the initial state π
−
d is
P
i
= P(π
−
)P(d)(−1)
l
= (−1) (+1) (−1)
1
= +1 .
As the reaction is by strong interaction, parity is conserved, and so the
parity of the ﬁnal state is +1.
Particle Physics 439
As the intrinsic parity of the neutron is +1, the parity of the ﬁnal state
nn is P
f
= (+1)
2
(−1)
l
= P
i
= (−1)
1
(−1)(+1), where l is the orbital
momentum quantum number of the relative motion of the two neutrons
in the ﬁnal state. Thus l = 0, 2, 4, . . . . However, the total wave func
tion of the ﬁnal state, which consists of two identical fermions, has to
be exchangeantisymmetric. Now as l is even, i.e., the orbital wave func
tion is exchangesymmetric, the spin wave function has to be exchange
antisymmetric. Hence the two neutrons must be in a singlet spin state.
3031
A negatively charged πmeson (a pseudoscalar particle: zero spin and
odd parity) is initially bound in the lowestenergy Coulomb wave function
around a deuteron. It is captured by the deuteron (a proton and neutron
in
3
S
1
state), which is converted into a pair of neutrons:
π
−
+d →n +n.
(a) What is the orbital angular momentum of the neutron pair?
(b) What is their total spin angular momentum?
(c) What is the probability for ﬁnding both neutron spins directed op
posite the spin of the deuteron?
(d) If the deuteron’s spin is initially 100% polarized in the k direction,
what is the angular dependence of the neutron emission probability (per
unit solid angle) for a neutron whose spin is opposite to that of the initial
deuteron? (See Fig. 3.5) You may ﬁnd some of the ﬁrst few (not normalized)
spherical harmonics useful:
Y
0
0
= 1 ,
Y
±1
1
= ∓sinθe
±iφ
,
Y
0
1
= cos θ ,
Y
±1
2
= ∓sin2θe
±iφ
.
(CUSPEA)
Solution:
(a) As J
P
(d) = 1
+
, J
P
(π
−
) = 0
−
, J
P
(n) =
1
2
+
, angular momentum
conservation demands J = 1, parity conservation demands (+1)
2
(−1)
L
440 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 3.5
= (−1)(+1)(−1)
0
, or (−1)
L
= −1 for the ﬁnal state. As neutrons are
fermions the total wave function of the ﬁnal state is antisymmetric. Thus
(−1)
L
(−1)
S+1
= −1, and L + S is an even number. For a twoneutron
system S = 0, 1. If S = 0, then L = 0, 2, 4, . . . . But this would mean
(−1)
L
= +1, which is not true. If S = 1, the L = 1, 3, 5, . . . , which satisﬁes
(−1)
L
= −1. Now if L ≥ 3, then J cannot be 1. Hence the neutron pair
has L = 1.
(b) The total spin angular momentum is S = 1.
(c) If the neutrons have spins opposite to the deuteron spin, S
z
= −
1
2
−
1
2
= −1. Then J
z
= L
z
+ S
z
= L
z
− 1. As L = 1, L
z
= 0, ±1. In either
case, ['1, L
z
−1[1, 1`[
2
= 0, i.e. the proabability for such a case is zero.
(d) The wave function for the neutronneutron system is
Ψ = [1, 1` = C
1
Y
1
1
χ
10
+C
2
Y
0
1
χ
11
,
where C
1
, C
2
are constants such that [C
1
[
2
= [C
2
[
2
= 1/2, and
χ
10
=
1
√
2
(↑↓ + ↓↑), χ
11
= (↑↑) .
From the symmetry of the above wave function and the normalization con
dition, we get
Particle Physics 441
dP
dΩ
= [C
1
[
2
(Y
1
1
χ
10
)
∗
(Y
1
1
χ
10
)
=
1
2
(Y
1
1
)
∗
Y
1
1
=
3
8π
sin
2
θ .
3032
(a) The η
0
particle can be produced by swaves in the reaction
π
−
+p →η
0
+n.
(Note no corresponding process π
−
+p →η
−
+p is observed)
(b) In the η
0
decay the following modes are observed, with the proba
bilities as indicated:
η
0
→2γ(38% of total)
→3π(30% of total)
→2π(< 0.15% of total) .
(c) The rest mass of the η
0
is 548.8 MeV.
Describe experiments/measurements from which the above facts (a) (b)
(c) may have been ascertained. On the basis of these facts show, as precisely
as possible, how the spin, isospin, and charge of the η
0
can be inferred.
(Columbia)
Solution:
An experiment for this purpose should consist of a π
−
beam with vari
able momentum, a hydrogen target, and a detector system with good spa
tial and energy resolutions for detecting γrays and charged particles. The
π
−
momentum is varied to obtain more 2γ and 3π events. The threshold
energy E
0
of the reaction is given by
(E
0
+m
p
)
2
−P
2
0
= (m
η
+m
n
)
2
.
442 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
where P
0
is the threshold momentum of the incident π
−
, or
E
0
=
(m
η
+m
n
)
2
−m
2
p
−m
2
π
2m
p
=
(0.5488 + 0.94)
2
−0.938
2
−0.14
2
2 0.938
= 0.702 GeV = 702 MeV,
giving
P
0
=
E
2
0
−m
2
π
≈ 0.688 GeV/c = 688 MeV/c .
Thus η
0
can be produced only if the π
−
momentum is equal to or larger
than 688 MeV/c.
Suppose the center of mass of the π
−
p system moves with velocity β
c
c
and let γ
c
= (1 − β
2
c
)
−
1
2
. Indicate quantities in the centerofmass system
(cms) by a bar. Lorentz transformation gives
¯
P
0
= γ
c
(P
0
+β
c
E
0
) .
As
¯
P
0
=
¯
P
p
= m
p
γ
c
β
c
, we have
β
c
=
P
0
m
p
+E
0
=
688
702 + 938
= 0.420 ,
γ
c
= 1.10 ,
and hence
¯
P
0
= γ
c
(P
0
−β
c
E
0
) = 433 Mev/c .
The de Broglie wavelength of the incident π
−
meson in cms is
λ =
c
¯
P
0
C
=
197 10
−13
433
= 0.45 10
−13
cm.
As the radius of proton ≈ 0.5 10
−13
cm, swaves play the key role in the
π
−
p interaction.
Among the ﬁnal products, we can measure the invariantmass spectrum
of 2γ’s. If we ﬁnd an invariant mass peak at 548.8 MeV, or for 6γ events, 3
pairs of γ’s with invariant mass peaking at m
0
π
,or the total invariant mass
of 6 γ’s peaking at 548.8 MeV, we can conclude that η
0
particles have
been created. One can also search for π
+
π
−
π
0
events. All these show the
Particle Physics 443
occurrence of
π
−
+p →n +η
0
→2γ
−→3π
0
, π
+
π
−
π
0
If the reaction π
−
+ p → p + η
−
did occur, one would expect η
−
to decay
via the process
η
−
→π
+
π
−
π
−
.
Experimentally no π
+
π
−
π
−
events have been observed.
The quantum numbers of η
0
can be deduced as follows.
Spin: As η
0
can be produced using swaves, conservation of angular
momentum requires the spin of η
0
to be either 0 or 1. However since a
vector meson of spin 1 cannot decay into 2 γ’s, J(η
0
) = 0.
Parity: The branching ratios suggest η
0
can decay via electromagnetic
interaction into 2 γ’s, via strong interaction into 3 π’s, but the branching
ratio of 2πdecay is very small. From the 3πdecay we ﬁnd
P(η
0
) = P
3
(π)(−1)
l+l
,
where l and l
are respectively the orbital angular momentum of a 2π system
and the relative orbital angular momentum of the third π relative to the 2π
system. As J(η
0
) = 0, conservation of total angular momentum requires
l
= −l and so
P(η
0
) = (−1)
3
= −1 .
Isospin: Because η
−
is not observed, η
0
forms an isospin singlet. Hence
I(η
0
) = 0.
Charge: Conservation of charge shows Q(η
0
) = 0. In addition, from the
2γdecay channel we can further infer that C(η
0
) = +1.
To summarize, the quantum numbers of η
0
are I(η
0
) = 0, Q(η
0
) = 0,
J
PC
(η
0
) = 0
−+
. Like π and K mesons, η
0
is a pseudoscalar meson, and it
forms an isospin singlet.
3033
A beam of K
+
or K
−
mesons enters from the left a bubble chamber to
which a uniform magentic ﬁeld of B ≈ 12 kGs is applied perpendicular to
the observation window.
444 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(a) Label with symbols (π
+
, π
−
, p, etc.) all the products of the decay of
the K
+
in the bubble chamber pictures in Fig. 3.6 and give the complete
reaction equation for K
+
applicable to each picture.
(b) In Fig. 3.7 the K
−
particles come to rest in the bubble chamber. La
bel with symbols all tracks of particles associated with the K
−
particle and
identify any neutral particle by a dashedline “track”. Give the complete
reaction equation for the K
−
interaction applicable to each picture.
Fig. 3.6
Fig. 3.7
Particle Physics 445
(c) Assuming that tracks in Fig. 3.7(a) and Fig. 3.7(b) above all lie in
the plane of the drawing determine the expressions for the lifetime of the
neutral particle and its mass.
(Chicago)
Solution:
(a) The modes and branching ratios of K
+
decay are as follows:
K
+
→ µ
+
ν
µ
63.50%,
π
+
π
0
21.16%,
π
+
π
+
π
−
5.59%,
π
+
π
0
π
0
1.73%,
µ
+
ν
µ
π
0
3.20%,
e
+
ν
e
π
0
4.82%.
The products from decays of K
+
consist of three kinds of positively
charged particle π
+
, µ
+
, e
+
, one kind of negatively charged particle π
−
,
plus some neutral particles π
0
, ν
µ
, ν
e
. Where π
+
is produced, there should
be four linearly connected tracks of positively charged particles arising from
K
+
→ π
+
→ µ
+
→ e
+
. Where µ
+
or e
+
is produced there should be
three or two linearly connected tracks of positively charged particles in the
picture arising from K
+
→µ
+
→e
+
or K
+
→e
+
, respectively. Where π
0
is produced, because of the decay π
0
→2γ(τ ≈ 10
−16
s) and the subsequent
electronpositron pair production of the γrays, we can see the e
+
, e
−
tracks
starting out as a fork.
Analysing Fig. 3.6(a) we have Fig. 3.8. The decay of K
+
could produce
either µ
+
ν or µ
+
γπ
0
. As the probability is much larger for the former we
assume that it was what actually happened. Then the sequence of events
is as follows:
K
+
→µ
+
+ν
µ
↓
e
+
¯ ν
µ
ν
e
−→e
+
+e
−
→γ
1
+γ
2
Note the sudden termination of the e
+
track, which is due to the anni
hilation of the positron with an electron of the chamber producing two
oppositely directed γrays.
446 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 3.8
Fig. 3.9
Analysing Fig. 3.6(b) we have Fig. 3.9. The sequence of events is as
follows:
K
+
→π
0
+π
+
−−−→
µ
+
+ν
µ
−−−−−−→
e
+
+ν
e
+ ¯ ν
µ
, e
+
+e
−
→γ
5
+γ
6
−−−−−−−→
γ
1
+γ
2
−−−−−−→
e
+
+e
−
, e
+
+e
−
→γ
3
+γ
4
or
K
+
→π
0
+π
0
+π
+
−−−→
µ
+
+ν
µ
−−−−−−−→
γ +γ
−−−−−−−−−−−→
γ +γ
with the subsequent µ
+
decay and pair production of the γrays.
Particle Physics 447
Fig. 3.10
Note that because of its short lifetime, π
0
decays almost immediately
as it is produced. From Fig. 3.6(c) we have Fig. 3.10.
The sequence of events is as follows:
K
+
→ν
e
+e
+
1
+π
0
−−→
γ
3
+γ
4
−−→
e
+
2
+e
−
, e
+
2
+e
−
→γ
5
+γ
6
−−−−−−→
e
+
1
+e
−
→γ
1
+γ
2
Figure 3.7(a) is interpreted as follows:
K
−
+n →Λ
0
+π
−
−−−−−−→
p +π
−
The tracks are labelled in Fig. 3.11 below:
Fig. 3.11
Figure 3.7(b), is interpreted as
K
−
+p →Λ
0
+π
0
−−−−→
γ +γ
−−−−−−−−→
p +π
−
448 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Fig. 3.12
Figure 3.12 shows the tracks with labels. Note that Λ
0
has a lifetime
∼ 10
−10
s, suﬃcient to travel an appreciable distance in the chamber.
(c) To determine the mass and lifetime of the neutral particle Λ
0
, we
measure the length of the track of the neutral particle and the angles it
makes with the tracks of p and π
−
, θ
p
and θ
π
, and the radii of curvature, R
p
and R
π
, of the tracks of p and π
−
. Force considerations give the momentum
of a particle of charge e moving perpendicular to a magnetic ﬁeld of ﬂux
density B as
P = eBR,
where R is the radius of curvature of its track. With e in C, B in T, R in
m, we have
P = eBRc
joule
c
=
1.6 10
−19
3 10
8
1.6 10
−19
10
9
BR
GeV
c
= 0.3BR
GeV
c
.
The momenta P
p
, P
π
of p and π
−
from Λ
0
decay can then be determined
from the radii of curvature of their tracks.
As (ΣE)
2
−(ΣP)
2
is invariant, we have
m
2
Λ
= (E
p
+E
π
)
2
−(P
p
+P
π
)
2
,
where m
Λ
is the rest mass of Λ
0
.
As
E
2
p
= P
2
p
+m
2
p
,
E
2
π
= P
2
π
+m
2
π
,
Particle Physics 449
we have
m
Λ
=
m
2
p
+m
2
π
+ 2E
p
E
π
−2P
π
P
p
cos(θ
p
+θ
π
) .
The energy and momentum of the Λ
0
particle are given by
E
Λ
= E
p
+E
π
,
P
Λ
= P
p
cos θ
p
+P
π
cos θ
π
.
If the path length of Λ is l, its laboratory lifetime is τ =
l
βc
, and its proper
lifetime is
τ
0
=
l
γβτ
=
lm
Λ
P
Λ
= l(P
p
cos θ
p
+P
π
cos θ
π
)
−1
[m
2
p
+m
2
π
+ 2E
p
E
π
−2P
π
P
p
cos(θ
p
+θ
π
)]
1/2
.
3034
The invariantmass spectrum of Λ
0
and π
+
in the reaction K
−
+ p →
Λ
0
+ π
+
+ π
−
shows a peak at 1385 MeV with a full width of 50 MeV. It
is called Y
∗
1
. The Λ
0
π
−
invariantmass spectrum from the same reaction
(but diﬀerent events) shows a similar peak.
(a) From these data determine the strangeness, hypercharge and isospin
of Y
∗
1
.
(b) Evidence indicates that the product Λ
0
+π
+
from a Y
∗
1
is in a relative
p state of angular momentum. What spin assignments J are possible for
the Y
∗
1
? What is its intrinsic parity? (Hint: the intrinsic parity of Λ
0
is +
and that of π
+
is −)
(c) What (if any) other strong decay modes do you expect for Y
∗
1
?
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) The resonance state Y
∗
1
with full width Γ = 50 MeV has a lifetime
τ = /Γ = 6.6 10
−22
/50 = 1.3 10
−23
s. The time scale means that Y
∗
1
decays via strong interaction, and so the strangeness number S, hypercharge
450 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Y , isospin I and its zcomponent I
3
are conserved. Hence
S(Y
∗
1
) = S(Λ
0
) +S(π
+
) = −1 + 0 = −1 ,
Y (Y
∗
1
) = Y (Λ
0
) +Y (π
+
) = 0 + 0 = 0 ,
I(Y
∗
1
) = I(Λ
0
) +I(π
+
) = 0 + 1 = 1 ,
I
3
(Y
∗
1
) = I
3
(Λ
0
) +I
3
(π
+
) = 0 + 1 = 1 .
Y
∗
1
is actually an isospin triplet, its three states being Y
∗+
1
, Y
∗0
1
, and
Y
∗−
1
. The resonance peak of Λ
0
π
−
corresponds to Y
∗−
1
.
(b) Λ
0
has spin J
Λ
= 1/2, π
+
has spin J
π
= 0. The relative motion is a p
state, so l = 1. Then J
Y
∗
1
= 1/2+1, the possible values being 1/2 and 3/2.
The intrinsic parity of Y
∗
1
is P(Y
∗
1
) = P(π)P(Λ)(−1)
l
= (−1)(1)(−1) = 1.
(c) Another possible strong decay channel is
Y
∗
1
→Σπ .
As the intrinsic parity of Σ is (+1), that of π, (−1), the particles emitted
are in a relative p state
3035
Consider the hyperon nonleptonic weak decays:
Λ
0
→pπ
−
Λ
0
→nπ
0
Σ
−
→nπ
−
Σ
+
→pπ
0
Σ
+
→nπ
+
Ξ
−
→Λ
0
π
−
Ξ
0
→Λ
0
π
0
Particle Physics 451
On assuming that these ∆S = 1 weak decays satisfy the ∆I = 1/2 rule,
use relevant tables to ﬁnd the values of x, y, z, as deﬁned below:
x =
A(Λ
0
→pπ
−
)
A(Λ
0
→nπ
0
)
,
y =
A(Σ
+
→π
+
n) −A(Σ
−
→π
−
n)
A(Σ
+
→π
0
p)
,
z =
A(Ξ
0
→Λ
0
π
0
)
A(Ξ
−
→Λ
0
π
−
)
,
where A denotes the transition amplitude.
(Columbia)
Solution:
As nonleptonic decays of hyperon require ∆I = 1/2, we can introduce
an “imaginary particle” a having I =
1
2
, I
3
= −
1
2
, and combine the hyperon
with a in isospin compling:
[Λ
0
, a` = [0, 0`
1
2
, −
1
2
=
1
2
, −
1
2
,
[Σ
−
, a` = [1, −1`
1
2
, −
1
2
=
3
2
, −
3
2
,
[Σ
+
, a` = [1, 1`
1
2
, −
1
2
=
1
3
3
2
,
1
2
+
2
3
1
2
,
1
2
,
[Ξ
0
, a` =
1
2
,
1
2
1
2
, −
1
2
=
1
2
[1, 0` +
1
2
[0, 0` ,
[Ξ
−
, a` =
1
2
, −
1
2
1
2
, −
1
2
= [1, −1` .
Similarly, we ﬁnd the isospin wave functions for the ﬁnal states:
[π
−
, p` = [1, −1`
1
2
,
1
2
=
1
3
3
2
, −
1
2
−
2
3
1
2
, −
1
2
,
[π
0
, p` = [1, 0`
1
2
,
1
2
=
2
3
3
2
,
1
2
−
1
3
1
2
,
1
2
,
452 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
[π
+
, n` = [1, 1`
1
2
, −
1
2
=
1
3
3
2
,
1
2
+
2
3
1
2
,
1
2
,
[π
0
, n` = [1, 0`
1
2
, −
1
2
=
2
3
3
2
, −
1
2
+
1
3
1
2
, −
1
2
,
[π
−
, n` = [1, −1`
1
2
, −
1
2
=
3
2
, −
3
2
,
[Λ
0
, π
0
` = [0, 0`[1, 0` = [1, 0` ,
[Λ
0
, π
−
` = [0, 0`[1, −1` = [1, −1` .
The coeﬃcients have been obtained from Clebsch–Gordan tables. The tran
sition amplitudes are thus
A
1
(Λ
0
→nπ
0
) =
1
3
M
1/2
A
2
(Λ
0
→pπ
−
) = −
2
3
M
1/2
,
with
M
1/2
=
1
2
H
w
1
2
.
Hence
x =
A
2
A
1
= −
√
2 .
Similarly,
A
3
(Σ
−
→π
−
n) = M
3/2
,
A
4
(Σ
+
→π
0
p) =
1
3
2
3
M
3/2
−
2
3
1
3
M
1/2
=
√
2
3
(M
3/2
−M
1/2
) ,
A
5
(Σ
+
→π
+
n) =
1
3
1
3
M
3/2
+
2
3
2
3
M
1/2
=
1
3
(M
3/2
+ 2M
1/2
) ,
with
M
3/2
=
3
2
H
ω
3
2
.
Particle Physics 453
Hence
y =
A
5
−A
3
A
4
=
M
3/2
+ 2M
1/2
−3M
3/2
√
2(M
3/2
−M
1/2
)
= −
√
2 .
Also,
A
6
(Ξ
0
→Λ
0
π
0
) =
1
2
M
1
,
A
7
(Ξ
−
→Λ
0
π
−
) = M
1
with
M
1
= '1[H
ω
[1` .
Hence
z =
A
6
A
7
=
1
√
2
.
3036
(a) The principle of detailed balance rests on the validity of time reversal
invariance and serves to relate the cross section for a given reaction a+b →
c +d to the cross section for the inverse reaction c +d →a +b. Let σ
I
(W)
be cross section for
γ +p →π
+
+n
at total centerofmass energy W, where one integrates over scattering an
gle, sums over ﬁnal spins, and averages over initial spins. Let σ
II
(W) be
the similarly deﬁned cross section, at the same centerofmass energy, for
π
+
+n →γ +p .
Let µ be the pion mass, m the nucleon mass (neglect the small diﬀerence
between the n and p masses). Given σ
I
(W), what does detailed balance
predict for σ
II
(W)?
(b) For reaction II, what is the threshold value W
thresh
and how does
σ
II
(W) vary with W just above threshold?
(Princeton)
454 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Solution:
(a) For simplicity denote the state (a,b) by α and the state (c,d) by β.
Let σ
αβ
be the cross section of the process
a +b →c +d
and σ
βα
be the cross section of the inverse process
c +d →a +b .
If T invariance holds true, then when the forward and inverse reactions
have the same energy W in the centerofmass frame, σ
αβ
and σ
βα
are
related by
σ
αβ
σ
β
α
=
P
2
β
(2I
c
+ 1)(2I
d
+ 1)
P
2
α
(2I
a
+ 1)(2I
b
+ 1)
,
which is the principle of detailed balance. Here P
α
is the relative momentum
of the incident channel of the reaction a + b → c + d, P
β
is the relative
momentum of the incident channel of the inverse reaction, I
a
, I
b
, I
c
, I
d
are
respectively the spins of a, b, c, d.
For the reaction γ + p → π
+
+ n, in the centerofmass frame of the
incident channel let the momentum of the γ be P
γ
, the energy of the proton
be E
p
. Then W = E
γ
+E
p
. As the γ has zero rest mass,
E
2
γ
−P
2
γ
= 0 ,
or
(W −E
p
)
2
−P
2
γ
= 0 .
With P
γ
= P
p
, E
2
p
−P
2
p
= m
2
,
E
p
=
W
2
+m
2
2W
.
Hence the relative momentum is
P
2
α
= P
2
γ
= E
2
p
−m
2
=
W
2
−m
2
2W
.
For the inverse reaction π
+
+ n → γ + p, in the centerofmass frame
let the energy of π
+
be E
π
, its momentum be P
π
, and the energy of the
neutron be E
n
, then as W = E
π
+E
n
,
(W −E
n
)
2
−E
2
π
= 0 .
Particle Physics 455
With P
π
= P
n
, E
2
n
= P
2
π
+m
2
, E
2
π
= P
2
π
+µ
2
, we have
E
n
=
W
2
+m
2
−µ
2
2W
,
and hence
P
2
β
= P
2
π
= E
2
n
−m
2
=
(W
2
+m
2
−µ
2
)
2
−4W
2
m
2
4W
2
.
We have I
γ
= 1, I
p
= 1/2, I
n
= 1/2, I
π
= 0. However as photon has only
left and right circular polarizations, 2I
γ
+1 should be replaced by 2. Hence
σ
I
(W)
σ
II
(W)
=
P
2
β
(2I
π
+ 1)(2I
n
+ 1)
P
2
α
(2I
γ
+ 1)(2I
p
+ 1)
=
P
2
β
2P
2
α
,
or
σ
II
(W) =
(W
2
−m
2
)
2
(W
2
+m
2
−µ
2
)
2
−4W
2
m
2
σ
I
(W) .
(b) At threshold all the ﬁnal particles are produced at rest in the center
ofmass frame. The energy of the center of mass is W
th∗
= m+ µ. In the
laboratory let the energy of the photon be E
γ
. As the proton is at rest, at
the threshold
(E
γ
+m)
2
−P
2
γ
= (m+µ)
2
,
or, since E
γ
= P
γ
,
E
th
γ
= µ
1 +
µ
2m
= 150 MeV.
When E
γ
> E
th
γ
, σ(γ + p → π
+
+ n) increases rapidly with increasing
E
γ
. When E
γ
= 340 MeV, a wide resonance peak appears, corresponding
to an invariant mass
E
∗
=
(E
γ
+m
p
)
2
−P
2
γ
=
2m
p
E
γ
+m
2
p
= 1232 MeV.
It is called the ∆ particle. The width Γ = 115 MeV and σ ≈ 280 µb at
the peak.
3037
The following questions require rough, qualitative, or magnitude an
swers.
(a) How large is the cross section for e
+
e
−
→µ
+
µ
−
at a centerofmass
energy of 20 GeV? How does it depend on energy?
456 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) How large is the neutrinonucleon total cross section for incident
neutrinos of 100 GeV (in the nucleon rest frame)? How does it depend
on energy? At what energy is this energy dependence expected to change,
according to the Weinberg–Salam theory?
(c) How long is the lifetime of the muon? Of the tau lepton? If a new
lepton is discovered ten times heavier than tau, how longlived is it expected
to be, assuming it decays by the same mechanism as the muon and tau?
(d) How large is the nucleonnucleon total cross section at accelerator
energies?
(e) In pionnucleon elastic scattering, a large peak is observed in the
forward direction (scattering through small angles). A smaller but quite
distinct peak is observed in the backward direction (scattering through ap
proximately 180
◦
in the centerofmass frame). Can you explain the back
ward peak? A similar backward peak is observed in K
+
p elastic scattering;
but in K
−
p scattering it is absent. Can you explain this?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The energy dependence of the cross section for e
+
e
−
→ µ
+
µ
−
can
be estimated by the following method. At high energies s
1
2
m
e
, m
µ
,
where s = E
2
cm
, and we can take m
e
≈ m
µ
≈ 0. As there are two vertexes
in the lowest order electromagnetic interaction, we have
σ = f(s)α
2
.
where α is the ﬁne structure constant
e
2
c
=
1
137
. Dimensionally σ = [M]
−2
,
s = [M]
2
, α = [0], and so
f(s) ≈
1
s
,
or
σ ≈
α
2
s
.
A calculation using quantum electrodynamics without taking account of
radiation correction gives
σ ≈
4πα
2
3s
.
At E
cm
= 20 GeV,
σ =
4πα
2
3 20
2
= 5.6 10
−7
GeV
−2
= 2.2 10
−34
cm
2
= 220 pb,
as 1 MeV
−1
= 197 10
−13
cm.
Particle Physics 457
(b) We can estimate the neutrinonucleon total cross section in a sim
ilar manner. In the high energy range s
1
2
m
p
, ν and p react by weak
interaction, and
σ ≈ G
2
F
f(s) .
Again using dimensional analysis, we have G
F
= [M]
−2
, s = [M]
2
, σ =
[M]
−2
, and so f(s) = [M]
2
, or
f(s) ≈ s ,
i.e.,
σ ≈ G
2
F
s .
Let the energy of the neutrino in the neutron’s rest frame be E
ν
. Then
s = (E
ν
+m
p
)
2
−p
2
ν
= m
2
p
+ 2m
p
E
ν
≈ 2m
p
E
ν
,
or
σ ≈ G
2
F
s ≈ G
2
F
m
p
E
ν
.
For weak interaction (Problem 3001)
G
F
m
2
p
= 10
−5
.
With m
p
≈ 1 GeV, at E
ν
= 100 GeV.
σ ≈ 10
−10
E
ν
GeV
−2
= 10
−10
10
2
10
−6
MeV
−2
= 10
−14
(197 10
−13
)
2
cm
2
= 4 10
−36
cm
2
.
Experimentally, σ ≈ 0.6 10
−38
cm
2
. According to the Weinberg–Salam
theory, σ changes greatly in the neighborhood of s ≈ m
2
W
, where m
W
is
the mass of the intermediate vector boson W, 82 GeV.
(c) µ has lifetime τ
µ
≈ 2.210
−6
s and τ has lifetime τ
τ
≈ 2.8610
−13
s.
Label the new lepton by H. Then m
H
= 10m
τ
. On assuming that it
decays by the same mechanism as muon and tau, its lifetime would be
τ
H
=
m
τ
m
H
5
τ
τ
≈ 10
−5
τ
τ
= 2.86 10
−18
s .
458 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(d) Nucleons interact by strong interaction. In the energy range of
presentday accelerators the interaction cross section between nucleons is
σ
NN
≈ πR
2
N
,
R
N
being the radius of the nucleon. With R
N
≈ 10
−13
cm,
σ
NN
≈ 3 10
−26
cm
2
= 30 mb.
Experimentally, σ
pp
≈ 30 ∼ 50 mb for E
p
= 2 ∼ 10 10
3
GeV,
σ
np
≈ 30 ∼ 50 mb for E
p
= 5 ∼ 10 10
2
GeV.
(e) Analogous to the physical picture of electromagnetic interaction, the
interaction between hadrons can be considered as proceeding by exchanging
virtual hadrons. Any hadron can be the exchanged particle and can be
created by other hadrons, so all hadrons are equal. It is generally accepted
that strong interaction arises from the exchange of a single particle, the
eﬀect of multiparticle exchange being considered negligible. This is the
singleparticle exchange model.
Figure 3.13(a) shows a t channel, where t = −(P
π
+−P
π
+
)
2
is the square
of the 4momentumtransfer of π
+
with respect to π
+
. Figure 3.13(b) shows
Fig. 3.13
Particle Physics 459
a u channel, where u = −(P
π
+ − P
p
)
2
is the square of the 4momentum
transfer of π
+
with respect to p
. Let θ be the angle of the incident π
+
with respect to the emergent π
+
. When θ = 0, [t[ is very small; when
θ = 180
0
, [u[ is very small. The former corresponds to the π
+
being scat
tered forwards and the latter corresponds to the π
+
being scattered back
wards. As quantum numbers are conserved at each vertex, for the t channel
the virtual exchange particle is a meson, for the u channel it is a baryon.
This means that there is a backward peak for baryonexchange scattering.
Generally speaking, the amplitude for meson exchange is larger. Hence the
forward peak is larger. For example, in π
+
p scattering there is a u channel
for exchanging n, and so there is a backward peak. In K
+
p scattering, a
virtual baryon (S = −1, B = 1) or Λ
0
is exchanged. But in K
−
p scattering,
if there is a baryon exchanged, it must have S = 1, B = 1. Since there is
no such a baryon, K
−
p scattering does not have a backward peak.
2. WEAK AND ELECTROWEAK INTERACTIONS, GRAND
UNIFICATION THEORIES(3038 3071)
3038
Consider the leptonic decays:
µ
+
→e
+
ν¯ ν and τ
+
→e
+
ν¯ ν
which are both believed to proceed via the same interaction.
(a) If the µ
+
mean life is 2.2 10
−6
s, estimate the τ
+
mean life given
that the experimental branching ratio for τ
+
→e
+
ν¯ ν is 16%
Note that:
m
µ
= 106 MeV/c
2
,
m
τ
= 1784 MeV/c
2
,
m
e
= 0.5 MeV/c
2
,
m
ν
= 0 MeV/c
2
,
460 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(b) If the τ
+
is produced in a colliding beam accelerator (like PEP),
e
+
e
−
→ τ
+
τ
−
at E
em
= 29 GeV (e
+
and e
−
have equal and opposite
momenta), ﬁnd the mean distance (in the laboratory) the τ
+
will travel
before decay.
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
(a) The theory of weak interaction gives the decay probabilities per unit
time as
λ
µ
= τ
−1
µ
=
G
2
µ
m
5
µ
192π
3
, λ
τ
=
G
2
τ
m
5
τ
192π
3
.
As the same weak interaction constant applies, G
µ
= G
τ
and
λ
τ
/λ
µ
= m
5
τ
/m
5
µ
.
If λ is the total decay probability per unit time of τ
+
, the branching ratio
is R = λ
τ
(τ
+
→e
+
ν¯ ν)/λ.
Hence τ = λ
−1
= R/λ
τ
(τ
+
→e
+
ν¯ ν) = R
m
µ
m
τ
5
τ
µ
= 16%
106
1784
5
2.2 10
−6
= 2.6 10
−13
s .
(b) In the centerofmass system, τ
+
and τ
−
have the same energy.
Thus
E
τ
= E
cm
/2 = 14.5 GeV.
As the collision is between two particles of equal and opposite momenta,
the centerofmass frame coincides with the laboratory frame. Hence the
laboratory Lorentz factor of τ is
γ = E
τ
/m
τ
= 14.5 10
3
/1784 = 8.13 ,
giving
β =
1 −γ
−2
=
1 −8.13
−2
= 0.992 .
Hence the mean ﬂight length in the laboratory is
L = βcγτ = 0.992 3 10
10
8.13 2.6 10
−13
= 6.29 10
−2
cm.
3039
Assume that the same basic weak interaction is responsible for the beta
decay processes n →pe
−
¯ ν and Σ
−
→Λe
−
¯ ν, and that the matrix elements
Particle Physics 461
describing these decays are the same. Estimate the decay rate of the process
Σ
−
→Λe
−
¯ ν given the lifetime of a free neutron is about 10
3
seconds.
Given:
m
n
= 939.57 MeV/c
2
, m
Σ
= 1197.35 MeV/c
2
,
m
p
= 938.28 MeV/c
2
, m
Λ
= 1116.058 MeV/c
2
,
m
e
= 0.51 MeV/c
2
, m
ν
= 0 .
(UC, Berkeley)
Solution:
βdecay theory gives the transition probability per unit time as W =
2πG
2
[M[
2
dN/dE
0
and the total decay rate as λ ∝ E
5
0
, where E
0
is the
maximum energy of the decay neutrino. For two decay processes of the
same transition matrix element and the same coupling constant we have
λ
1
λ
2
=
E
01
E
02
5
.
Hence
λ(Σ
−
→Λe¯ ν) =
¸
E
0
(Σ
−
→Λe
−
¯ ν)
E
0
(n →pe
−
¯ ν)
5
λ
n
=
m
Σ
−m
Λ
−m
e
m
n
−m
p
−m
e
5
1
τ
n
=
1197.35 −1116.058 −0.51
939.57 −938.28 −0.51
5
10
−3
= 1.19 10
7
s
−1
.
3040
Although the weak interaction coupling is thought to be universal, dif
ferent weak processes occur at vastly diﬀerent rates for kinematics reasons.
462 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
(a) Assume a universal VA interaction, compute (or estimate) the ratio
of rates:
γ =
Γ(π
−
→µ
−
¯ ν)
Γ(π
−
→e
−
¯ ν)
.
Be as quantitative as you can.
(b) How would this ratio change (if the universal weak interaction cou
pling were scalar? Pseudoscalar?
(c) What would you expect (with VA) for
γ
=
Γ(Λ →pµ
−
¯ ν)
Γ(Λ →pe
−
¯ ν)
.
Here a qualitative answer will do.
Data:
J
P
(π
−
) = 0
−
; M
Λ
= 1190 MeV/c
2
;
M
µ
= 105 MeV/c
2
; M
e
= 0.5 MeV/c
2
; M
p
= 938 MeV/c
2
.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The weak interaction reaction rate is given by
Γ = 2πG
2
[M[
2
dN
dE
0
,
where
dN
dE
0
is the number of the ﬁnal states per unit energy interval, M is
the transition matrix element, G is the weak interaction coupling constant.
Consider the two decay modes of π
−
:
π
−
→µ
−
¯ ν
µ
, π
−
→e
−
¯ ν .
Each can be considered as the interaction of four fermions through an in
termediate nucleonantinucleon state as shown in Fig. 3.14:
π
−
Stronginteraction
−−−−−−−−−−−−→ ¯ p +n
Weakinteraction
−−−−−−−−−−−−→ e
−
+ ¯ ν
e
or µ
−
+ ¯ ν
µ
.
From a consideration of parities and angular momenta, and basing on
the V –A theory, we can take the coupling to be of the axial vector (A) type.
Particle Physics 463
Fig. 3.14
For A coupling, M
2
≈ 1 − β, where β is the velocity of the charged
lepton. The phase space factor is
dN
dE
0
= Cp
2
dp
dE
0
,
where C is a constant, p is the momentum of the charged lepton in the rest
frame of the pion. The total energy of the system is
E
0
= m
π
= p +
p
2
+m
2
,
where m is the rest mass of the charged lepton, and the neutrino is assumed
to have zero rest mass. Diﬀerentiating we have
dp
dE
0
=
E
0
−p
E
0
.
From
m
π
= p +
p
2
+m
2
we have
p =
m
2
π
−m
2
2m
π
.
Combining the above gives
dp
dE
0
=
m
2
π
+m
2
2m
2
π
.
We also have
β =
p
p
2
+m
2
=
p
m
π
−p
,
464 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
and so
1 −β =
2m
2
m
2
π
+m
2
.
Thus the decay rate is proportional to
(1 −β)p
2
dp
dE
0
=
1
4
m
m
π
2
m
2
π
−m
2
m
π
2
.
Hence the ratio is
γ =
Γ(π
−
→µ
−
¯ ν
µ
)
Γ(π
−
→e
−
¯ ν
e
)
=
m
2
µ
(m
2
π
−m
2
µ
)
2
m
2
e
(m
2
π
−m
2
e
)
2
= 8.13 10
3
.
(b) For scalar coupling, M
2
≈ 1 − β also and the ratio R would not
change.
For pseudoscalar coupling, M
2
≈ 1 + β, and the decay rate would be
proportional to
(1 +β)p
2
dp
dE
=
1
4
m
2
π
−m
2
m
π
2
.
Then
γ =
Γ(π
−
→µ
−
¯ ν
µ
)
Γ(π
−
→e
−
¯ ν
e
)
=
(m
2
π
−m
2
µ
)
2
(m
2
π
−m
2
e
)
2
= 0.18 .
These may be compared with the experimental result
γ
exp
= 8.1 10
3
.
(c) For the semileptonic decay of Λ
0
the ratio
γ
=
Γ(Λ →pµ
−
¯ ν
µ
)
Γ(Λ →pe
−
¯ ν
e
)
can be estimated in the same way. We have
γ
th
= 0.164 γ
exp
= 0.187 ±0.042 ,
which means Λ decay can be described in terms of the VA coupling theory.
3041
List the general properties of neutrinos and antineutrinos. What was
the physical motivation for the original postulate of the existence of the
neutrino? How was the neutrino ﬁrst directly detected?
(Wisconsin)
Particle Physics 465
Solution:
Table 3.6 lists some quantum numbers of neutrino and antineutrino.
Table 3.6
Charge Spin Helicity Lepton number
neutrino 0 1/2 −1 +1
antineutrino 0 1/2 +1 −1
Both neutrino and antineutrino are leptons and are subject to weak
interaction only. Three kinds of neutrinos and their antiparticles are at
present believed to exist in nature. These are electronneutrino, muon
neutrino, τneutrino, and their antiparticles. (ν
τ
and ¯ ν
τ
have not been
detected experimentally).
Originally, in order to explain the conﬂict between the continuous energy
spectrum of electrons emitted in βdecays and the discrete nuclear energy
levels, Pauli postulated in 1933 the emission in βdecay also of a light
neutral particle called neutrino. As it is neutral the neutrino cannot be
detected, but it takes away a part of the energy of the transition. As it is a
threebody decay the electron has continuous energy up to a deﬁnite cutoﬀ
given by the transition energy.
As neutrinos take part in weak interaction only, their direct detec
tion is very diﬃcult. The ﬁrst experimental detection was carried out by
Reines and Cowan during 1953–1959, who used ¯ ν from a nuclear reactor
to bombard protons. From the neutron decay n → p + e
−
+ ¯ ν we expect
¯ ν + p → n + e
+
to occur. Thus if a neutron and a positron are detected
simultaneously the existence of ¯ ν is proved. It took the workers six years
to get a positive result.
3042
(a) How many neutrino types are known to exist? What is the spin of
a neutrino?
(b) What properties of neutrinos are conserved in scattering processes?
What is the diﬀerence between a neutrino and an antineutrino? Illustrate
466 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
this by ﬁlling in the missing particle:
ν
µ
+e
−
→µ
−
+? .
(c) Assume the neutrino mass is exactly zero. Does the neutrino have a
magnetic moment? Along what direction(s) does the neutrino spin point?
Along what direction(s) does the antineutrino spin point?
(d) What is the velocity of a 3
◦
K neutrino in the universe if the neutrino
mass is 0.1 eV?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Two kinds of neutrino have been found so far. These are electron
neutrinos and muonneutrinos and their antiparticles. Theory predicts the
existence of a third kind of neutrino, τneutrino and its antiparticle. The
neutrino spin is 1/2.
(b) In a scattering process, the lepton number of each kind of neutrino
is conserved. The diﬀerence between a neutrino and the corresponding
antineutrino is that they have opposite lepton numbers. Furthermore if
the neutrino mass is zero, the helicities of neutrino and antineutrino are
opposite. The unknown particle in the reaction is ν
e
:
ν
µ
+e
−
→µ
−
+ν
e
.
(c) If the neutrino masses are strictly zero, they have no magnetic mo
ment. The neutrino spin points along a direction opposite to its motion,
while the antineutrino spin does the reverse.
(d) The average kinetic energy of a neutrino in a gas of temperature
T is E
k
= 3kT/2, where k is Boltzmann’s constant. The velocity of the
neutrino is then
β =
2E
k
/m =
3kT/m =
3 8.62 10
−5
3/0.1 = 0.088 ,
corresponding to 2.6 10
7
m/s.
3043
(a) Describe the experiments that prove
(1) there are two kinds of neutrino,
(2) the interaction cross section is very small.
Particle Physics 467
(b) Write down the reactions in which an energetic neutrino may pro
duce a single pion with
(1) a proton, and with
(2) a neutron.
(c) Deﬁne helicity and what are its values for neutrino and antineutrino.
(d) Can the following modes of µ
+
decay proceed naturally? Why?
(1) µ
+
→e
+
+γ,
(2) µ
+
→e
+
+e
−
+e
+
.
(SUNY Buﬀalo)
Solution:
(a) (1) For twoneutrino experiment see Problem 3009(3).
(2) The ﬁrst observation of the interaction of free neutrinos was
made by Reines and Cowan during 1953–1959, who employed ¯ ν
e
from a
nuclear reactor, which have a broad spectrum centered around 1 MeV, as
projectiles and cadmium chloride (CdCl
2
) and water as target to initiate
the reaction
¯ ν
e
+p →n +e
+
.
The e
+
produced in this reaction rapidly comes to rest due to ionization
loss and forms a positronium which annihilates to give two γrays, each of
energy 0.511 MeV. The time scale for this process is of the order 10
−9
s. The
neutron produced, after it has been moderated in the water, is captured
by cadmium, which then radiates a γray of ∼ 9.1 MeV after a delay of
several µs. A liquid scintillation counter which detects both rays gives two
diﬀerential pulses with a time diﬀerential of about 10
−5
s. The 200litre
target was sandwiched between two layers of liquid scintillator, viewed by
banks of photomultipliers. The experiment gave σ
ν
∼ 10
−44
cm
2
, consistent
with theoretical expectation. Compared with the cross section σ
h
of a
hardon, 10
−24∼−26
cm
2
, σ
ν
is very small indeed.
(b) (1) ν
µ
+p →µ
−
+p +π
+
.
(2)
ν
µ
+n →µ
−
+n +π
+
→µ
−
+p +π
0
.
(c) The helicity of a particle is deﬁned as H =
P·σ
Pσ
, where P and σ
are the momentum and spin of the particle. The neutrino has H = −1 and
is said to be lefthanded, the antineutrino has H = +1 and is righthanded.
(d) µ
+
→e
+
+γ, µ
+
→e
+
+ e
−
+e
+
.
468 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
Neither decay mode can proceed because they violate the conservation
of electronlepton number and of muonlepton number.
3044
A sensitive way to measure the mass of the electron neutrino is to mea
sure
(a) the angular distribution in electronneutrino scattering.
(b) the electron energy spectrum in betadecay.
(c) the neutrino ﬂux from the sun.
(CCT)
Solution:
In the Kurie plot of a β spectrum, the shape at the tail end depends on
the neutrino mass. So the answer is (b).
3045
How many of one million 1GeV neutrinos interact when traversing the
earth? (σ = 0.7 10
−38
cm
2
/n, where n means a nucleon, R = 6000 km,
ρ ≈ 5 g/cm
2
, 'A` = 20)
(a) all.
(b) ≈ 25.
(c) none.
(CCT)
Solution:
Each nucleon can be represented by an area σ. The number of nucleons
encountered by a neutrino traversing earth is then
N
n
=
2RσρN
A
'A`
'A` ,
where N
A
=Avogadro’s number. The total number of encounters (colli
sions) is
N = N
ν
N
n
= 2RσρN
A
N
ν
= 2 6 10
8
0.7 10
−38
5 6.02 10
23
10
6
= 25.2
So the answer is (b).
Particle Physics 469
3046
The cross section rises linearly with E
ν
. How long must a detector (ρ ≈
5 g/cm
3
, 'A` = 20) be so that 1 out of 10
6
neutrinos with E
ν
= 1000 GeV
interacts?
(a) 6 km.
(b) 480 m.
(c) 5 m.
(CCT)
Solution:
Write L = 2R in Problem 3045, then N ∝ Lσ. As σ
= 1000σ, we
have
1
25.2
=
10
3
L
2R
,
or
L =
2 6000
25.2 10
3
= 0.476 km.
Hence the anser is (b).
3047
An experiment in a gold mine in South Dakota has been carried out to
detect solar neutrinos using the reaction
ν +Cl
37
→Ar
37
+e
−
.
The detector contains approximately 4 10
5
liters of tetrachlorethylene
(CCl
4
). Estimate how many atoms of Ar
37
would be produced per day.
List your assumptions. How can you improve the experiment?
(Columbia)
Solution:
The threshold for the reaction ν +Cl
37
→Ar
37
+e
−
is (M
Ar
−M
Cl
)c
2
=
0.000874 937.9 = 0.82 MeV, so only neutrinos of E
ν
> 0.82 MeV can be
detected. On the assumption that the density ρ of CCl
4
is near that of
water, the number of Cl nuclei per unit volume is
n =
4ρN
0
A
= (4/172) 6.02 10
23
= 1.4 10
22
cm
−3
,
where A = 172 is the molecular weight of CCl
4
.
470 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
In general the interaction cross section of neutrino with matter is a
function of E
ν
. Suppose ¯ σ ≈ 10
−42
cm
2
/Cl. The ﬂux of solar neutrinos
on the earth’s surface depends on the model assumed for the sun. Suppose
the ﬂux with E
ν
> 0.82 MeV is F = 10
9
cm
−2
s
−1
. Then the number of
neutrinos detected per day is N
ν
= nV ¯ σFt = 1.4 10
22
4 10
5
10
3
10
−42
10
9
24 3600 = 4.8 10
2
.
However only neutrinos with energies E
ν
> 0.82 MeV can be detected
in this experiment, whereas solar neutrinos produced in the main process in
the sun p +p →
2
H +e
+
+ν
e
have maximum energy 0.42 MeV. Most solar
neutrinos will not be detected in this way. On the other hand, if Ga or In
are used as the detection medium, it would be possible to detect neutrinos
of lower energies.
3048
It has been suggested that the universe is ﬁlled with heavy neutrinos
ν
H
(mass m
H
) which decay into a lighter neutrino ν
L
(mass m
L
) and a
photon, ν
H
→ ν
L
+ γ, with a lifetime similar to the age of the universe.
The ν
H
were produced at high temperatures in the early days, but have
since cooled and, in fact, they are now so cold that the decay takes place
with the ν
H
essentially at rest.
(a) Show that the photons produced are monoenergetic and ﬁnd their
energy.
(b) Evaluate your expression for the photon energy in the limit m
L
<
m
H
. If the heavy neutrinos have a mass of 50 eV as has been suggested
by recent terrestrial experiments, and m
L
<m
H
, in what spectral regime
should one look for these photons?
(c) Suppose the lifetime of the heavy neutrinos were short compared
to the age of the universe, but that they were still “cold” (in the above
sense) at the time of decay. How would this change your answer to part
(b) (qualitatively)?
(Columbia)
Solution:
(a) As it is a twobody decay, conservation of energy and conservation
of momentum determine uniquely the energy of each decay particle. Thus
Particle Physics 471
the photons are monoenergetic. The heavy neutrinos can be considered as
decaying at rest. Thus
m
H
= E
L
+E
γ
, P
L
= P
γ
.
As E
γ
= P
γ
, E
2
L
= P
2
L
+m
2
L
, these give
E
γ
=
1
2m
H
(m
2
H
−m
2
L
) .
(b) In the limit m
H
m
L
, E
γ
≈
1
2
m
H
. If m
H
= 50 eV, E
γ
= 25 eV.
The photons emitted have wavelength
λ =
h
P
γ
=
2πc
P
γ
c
=
2π 197 10
−13
25 10
−6
= 495 10
−8
cm = 495
˚
A.
This is in the regime of ultraviolet light. Thus one would have to look at
extraterrestrial ultraviolet light for the detection of such photons.
(c) If the lifetime of the heavy neutrinos is far smaller than that of the
universe, they would have almost all decayed into the lighter neutrinos.
This would make their direct detection practically impossible.
3049
The particle decay sequence
π
+
→µ
+
+ν
µ
, µ
+
→e
+
+ν
e
+ ¯ ν
µ
shows evidence of parity nonconservation.
(a) What observable quantity is measured to show this eﬀect? Sketch
or give a formula for the distribution of this observable.
(b) Does the process show that both decay processes violate parity con
servation, or only one? Explain why.
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Suppose the pions decay in ﬂight. We can study the forward muons
µ
+
which stop and decay inside a carbon absorber. The angular distribution
472 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
of the e
+
produced in the µ
+
decay can determine if parity is conserved.
Relative to the initial direction of µ
+
the e
+
have angular distribution
dN/dΩ = 1 −
1
3
cos θ, which changes under space reﬂection θ → π − θ.
Hence parity is not conserved.
(b) Both the decay processes violate parity conservation since both pro
ceed via weak interaction.
3050
Consider the following decay scheme:
π
+
→µ
+
+ν
1
−−−→
e
+
+ν
2
+ ¯ ν
3
(a) If the pion has momentum p, what is the value of the minimum (and
maximum) momentum of the muon? Express the answer in terms of m
µ
,
m
π
and p (m
ν
1
= m
ν
2
= m
¯ ν
3
= 0) and assume p m
µ
, m
π
.
(b) If the neutrino in π decay has negative helicity, what is the helicity
of the muon for this decay?
(c) Given that ν
2
and ¯ ν
3
have negative and positive helicities respec
tively, what is the helicity of the positron?
(d) What conserved quantum number indicates that ν
1
and ¯ ν
3
(ν
2
) are
associated with the muon (electron) respectively?
(e) The pion decays to an electron: π
+
→ e
+
+ ν
e
. Even though the
kinematics for the electron and muon decay modes are similar, the rate of
muon decay is 10
4
times the rate of electron decay. Explain.
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Let γ be the Lorentz factor of π
+
. Then βγ =
p
m
π
,
γ =
p
2
+m
2
π
m
π
≈
1 +
m
2
π
2p
2
p
m
π
.
Particle Physics 473
In the rest system of π
+
, p
∗
µ
= p
∗
ν
= E
∗
ν
, m
π
= E
∗
µ
+E
∗
ν
= E
∗
µ
+p
∗
µ
, giving
p
∗
µ
= p
∗
ν
=
m
2
π
−m
2
µ
2m
π
,
E
∗
µ
=
p
∗2
µ
+m
2
µ
=
m
2
π
+m
2
µ
2m
π
.
Transforming to the laboratory system we have
p
µ
cos θ = γp
∗
µ
cos θ
∗
+γβE
∗
µ
.
In the direction of p (θ = 0), p
µ
has extreme values
(p
µ
)
max
≈ p
1 +
m
2
π
2p
2
m
2
π
−m
2
µ
2m
2
π
+p
m
2
π
−m
2
µ
2m
2
π
= p +
m
2
π
−m
2
µ
4p
, (θ
∗
= 0)
(p
µ
)
min
≈ −p
1 +
m
2
π
2p
2
m
2
π
−m
2
µ
2m
2
π
+p
m
2
π
+m
2
µ
2m
2
π
=
m
2
µ
m
2
π
p −
m
2
π
−m
2
µ
4p
. (θ
∗
= π)
(b) If the neutrino in π
+
decay has negative helicity, from the fact that
π
+
has zero spin and the conservation of total angular momentum and of
momentum, we can conclude that µ
+
must have negative helicity in the
rest system of π
+
.
(c) Knowing that ¯ ν
3
and ν
2
respectively have positive and negative
helicities, one still cannot decide on the helicity of e
+
. If we moderate the
decay muons and study their decay at rest, a peak is found at 53 MeV
in the energy spectrum of the decay electrons. This means the electron
and ν
2
¯ ν
3
move in opposite directions. If the polarization direction of µ
+
does not change in the moderation process, the angular distribution of e
+
relative to p
µ
,
dN
e
+
dΩ
≈ 1 −
α
3
cos θ ,
where α ≈ 1, shows that e
+
has a maximum probability of being emitted
in a direction opposite to p
µ
(θ = π). Hence the helicity of e
+
is positive.
474 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
The longitudinal polarization of the electron suggests that parity is not
conserved in π and µ decays.
(d) The separate conservation of the electron and muonlepton numbers
indicates that ν
1
and ¯ ν
3
are associated with muon and that ν
2
is associated
with electron since the electronlepton numbers of ν
1
, ν
2
and ¯ ν
3
are 0,1,0,
and their muonlepton numbers are 1,0, −1 respectively.
(e) See Problem 3040.
3051
A beam of unpolarized electrons
(a) can be described by a wave function that is an equal superposition
of spinup and spindown wave functions.
(b) cannot be described by a wave function.
(c) neither of the above.
(CCT)
Solution:
The answer is (a).
3052
Let s, p be the spin and linear momentum vectors of an elementary
particle respectively.
(a) Write down the transformations of s, p under the parity operator
ˆ
P
and the time reversal operator
ˆ
T.
(b) In view of the answers to part (a), suggest a way to look for time
reversal violation in the decay Λ → N + π. Are any experimental details
or assumptions crucial to this suggestion?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
(a) Under the operation of the parity operator, s and p are transformed
according to
ˆ
Ps
ˆ
P
−1
= s,
ˆ
Pp
ˆ
P
−1
= −p.
Particle Physics 475
Under the timereversal operator
ˆ
T, s and p are transformed accord
ing to
ˆ
Ts
ˆ
T
−1
= −s,
ˆ
Tp
ˆ
T
−1
= −p.
(b) Consider the angular correlation in the decay of polarized Λ parti
cles. Deﬁne
Q = s
Λ
(p
N
p
π
) ,
where s
Λ
is the spin of the Λ particle, p
N
and p
π
are the linear momenta
of the nucleon and the pion respectively. Time reversal operation gives
ˆ
TQ
ˆ
T
−1
=
ˆ
Ts
Λ
ˆ
T
−1
(
ˆ
Tp
N
ˆ
T
−1
ˆ
Tp
π
ˆ
T
−1
) = −s
Λ
[(−p
N
) (−p
π
)] = −Q,
or
¯
Q = 'α[Q[α` = 'α[
ˆ
T
−1
ˆ
TQ
ˆ
T
−1
ˆ
T[α` = −'α
T
[Q[α
T
` .
If time reversal invariance holds true, [α
T
` and [α` would describe the same
state and so
¯
Q = 'α[Q[α` = −'α
T
[Q[α
T
` = −
¯
Q,
or
¯
Q = 0 .
To detect possible time reversal violation, use experimental setup as in
Fig. 3.15. The pion and nucleon detectors are placed perpendicular to each
other with their plane perpendicular to the Λparticle spin. Measure the
number of Λ decay events N(↑). Now reverse the polarization of the Λ
particles and under the same conditions measure the Λ decay events N(↓).
Fig. 3.15
476 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
A result N(↑) = N(↓) would indicate time reversal violation in the decay
Λ →π +N.
This experiment requires all the Λparticles to be strictly polarized.
3053
Consider the decay Λ
0
→p+π
−
. Describe a test for parity conservation
in this decay. What circumstances may prevent this test from being useful?
(Wisconsin)
Solution:
Λ
0
→ p + π
−
is a nonleptonic decay. It is known Λ
0
and p both have
spin 1/2 and positive parity, and π
−
has spin 0 and negative parity.
As the total angular momentum is conserved, the ﬁnal state may have
relative orbital angular momentum 0 or 1. If
l = 0, the ﬁnalstate parity is P(p)P(π
−
)(−1)
0
= −1; if
l = 1, the ﬁnalstate parity is P(p)P(π
−
)(−1)
1
= +1.
Thus if parity is conserved in Λ
0
decay, l = 0 is forbidden. If parity is
not conserved in Λ
0
decay, both the l values are allowed and the ﬁnalstate
proton wave function can be written as
Ψ = Ψ
s
+ Ψ
p
= a
s
Y
0,0
1
2
,
1
2
+a
p
2
3
Y
1,1
1
2
, −
1
2
−
1
3
Y
1,0
1
2
,
1
2
,
where [
1
2
,
1
2
` and [
1
2
, −
1
2
` are respectively the spin wave functions of the
proton for m = ±
1
2
, a
s
and a
p
are the amplitudes of the s and p waves.
Substitution of Y
1,1
, Y
1,0
, Y
0,0
gives
Ψ
∗
Ψ ∝[a
s
−a
p
cos θ[
2
+[a
p
[
2
sin
2
θ
= [a
s
[
2
+[a
p
[
2
−2Re(a
s
a
∗
p
) cos θ ∝ 1 +αcos θ ,
where α = 2Re(a
a
a
∗
p
)/([a
s
[
2
+[a
p
[
2
).
If the Λ
0
particles are polarized, the angular distribution of p or π
−
will be of the form 1 + αcos θ, (in the rest frame of Λ
0
, p and π
−
move
in opposite directions). If Λ
0
are not fully polarized, let the polarizability
be P. Then the angular distribution of π
−
or p is (1 + αP cos θ). In the
above θ is the angle between the direction of π
−
or p and the polarization
direction of Λ
0
.
Particle Physics 477
Measurement of the angular distribution can be carried out using the
polarized Λ
0
arising from the associated production
π
−
+p →Λ
0
+K
0
.
Parity conservation in the associated production, which is a strong inter
action, requires the Λ
0
particles to be transversally polarized with the spin
direction perpendicular to the reaction plane. Experimentally if the mo
mentum of the incident π
−
is slightly larger than 1 GeV/c, the polarizability
of Λ
0
is about 0.7. Take the plane of production of Λ
0
, which is the plane
containing the directions of the incident π
−
and the produced Λ
0
(K
0
must
also be in this plane to satisfy momentum conservation) and measure the
counting rate disparity of the π
−
(or p) emitted in Λ
0
decay between the
spaces above and below this plane (θ = 0 to π/2 and θ = π/2 to π). A dis
parity would show that parity is not conserved in Λ
0
decay. An experiment
by Eister in 1957 using incident π
−
of momenta 910 ∼ 1300 MeV/c resulted
in P = 0.7. Note in the above process, the asymmetry in the emission of
π
−
originates from the polarization of Λ
0
. If the Λ
0
particles has P = 0
the experiment could not be used to test parity conservation.
3054
The Λ and p particles have spin 1/2, the π has spin 0.
(a) Suppose the Λ is polarized in the z direction and decays at rest,
Λ →p +π
−
. What is the most general allowed angular distribution of π
−
?
What further restriction would be imposed by parity invariance?
(b) By the way, how does one produce polarized Λ’s?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) The initial spin state of Λparticle is [
1
2
,
1
2
`. Conservation of angular
momentum requires the ﬁnalstate πp system orbital angular momentum
quantum number to be l = 0 or 1 (Problem 3053).
If l = 0, the ﬁnalstate wave function is Ψ
s
= a
s
Y
00
[
1
2
,
1
2
`, where a
s
is
the swave amplitude in the decay, [
1
2
,
1
2
` is the proton spin state, Y
00
is
the orbital angular motion wave function.
478 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
If l = 1, the ﬁnalstate wave function is
Ψ
p
= a
p
2
3
Y
11
1
2
, −
1
2
−
1
3
Y
10
1
2
,
1
2
,
where a
p
is the pwave amplitude in the decay,
2
3
, −
1
3
are Clebsch–
Gordan coeﬃcients.
With Y
00
=
1
√
4π
, Y
10
=
3
4π
cos θ, Y
11
=
3
8π
e
iϕ
sinθ, we have
Ψ
s
=
a
s
√
4π
1
2
,
1
2
,
Ψ
p
= −
a
p
√
4π
e
iϕ
sinθ
1
2
, −
1
2
+ cos θ
1
2
,
1
2
.
and the ﬁnalstate total wave function
Ψ =
1
√
4π
(a
s
−a
p
cos θ)
1
2
,
1
2
−a
p
e
iϕ
sinθ
1
2
, −
1
2
.
The probability distribution is then
Ψ
∗
Ψ ∝ [a
s
−a
p
cos θ[
2
+[a
p
sinθ[
2
= [a
s
[
2
+[a
p
[
2
−2Re(a
s
a
∗
p
) cos θ .
Hence the pion angular distribution has the form
I(θ) = C(1 +αcos θ) ,
where α, C are constants.
The particles Λ, p, π have parities +, +, − respectively. If parity is con
served in the decay, l = 0 is forbidden, i.e. a
s
= 0, and the angular distribu
tion of the pion is limited by the spacereﬂection symmetry to be symmetric
above and below the decay plane. If observed otherwise, parity is not con
served.
(b) Polarized Λ
0
particles can be created by bombarding a proton target
with pions:
π
−
+p →Λ
0
+K
0
.
Particle Physics 479
The Λ
0
particles are produced polarized perpendicular to the plane of pro
duction.
3055
(a) As is well known, parity is violated in the decay Λ → p + π
−
.
This is reﬂected, for example, in the following fact. If the Λparticle is
fully polarized along, say, the zaxis, then the angular distribution of the
proton obeys
dΓ
dΩ
= A(1 +λcos θ) .
Given the parameter λ, what is the longitudinal polarization of the
proton if the Λ is unpolarized?
(b) For strangenesschanging hyperon decays in general, e.g., Λ →pπ
−
,
Λ →nπ
0
, Σ
+
→nπ
+
, Σ
+
→pπ
0
, Σ
−
→nπ
−
, K
+
→π
+
π
0
, K
0
s
→π
+
π
−
,
K
0
s
→ π
0
π
0
, etc., there is ample evidence for the approximate validity of
the socalled ∆I =
1
2
rule (the transition Hamiltonian acts like a member
of an isotopic spin doublet). What does the ∆I =
1
2
rule predict for the
relative rates of K
+
→π
+
π
0
, K
0
s
→π
+
π
−
, K
0
s
→π
0
π
0
?
(Princeton)
Solution:
(a) Parity is violated in Λ
0
decay and the decay process is described
with s and p waves of amplitudes a
s
and a
p
(Problem 3053). According
to the theory on decay helicity, a hyperon of spin 1/2 decaying at rest and
emitting a proton along the direction Ω = (θ, φ) has decay amplitude
f
λM
(θ, φ) = (2π)
−
1
2
T
1/2
Mλ
(φ, θ, 0)a
λ
,
where M and λ
are respectively the spin projection of Λ
0
and the proton
helicity. We use a
+
and a
−
to represent the decay amplitudes of the two
diﬀerent helicities. Conservation of parity would require a
+
= −a
−
. The
total decay rate is
W = [a
+
[
2
+[a
−
[
2
.
The angular distribution of a particle produced in the decay at rest of a Λ
0
hyperon polarized along the zaxis is
480 Problems and Solutions in Atomic, Nuclear and Particle Physics
dP
dΩ
=
1
W
¸
λ
[f
λ
,1/2
(θ, φ)[
2
= (2πW)
−1
¸
λ
[a
λ
[
2
[d
1/2
1/2,λ
(θ)]
2
= (2πW)
−1
[a
+
[
2
cos
2
θ
2
+[a
−
[
2
sin
2
θ
2
= A(1 +λcos θ) ,
where d
1/2
1/2,λ
(θ) = T
1/2
Mλ
(φ, θ, 0), A =
1
4π
, λ =
a
+

2
−a
−

2
a
+

2
+a
−

2
. Note λ = 0 if
parity is conserved.
The expectation value of the helicity of the protons from the decay of
unpolarized Λ
0
particles is
P = (2W)